Many of today’s youth lack the opportunity to express their passions. Open Space Studio hopes to become a haven for youth by providing them with a place and community to discover their skills and strengths freely.
The studio caters to young dancers from all over Boston’s South Shore and Upper Cape Cod region. The youth dance academy is one of the most affordable ones in the area and teaches all dance genres, including ballet, lyrical, hip-hop, tap, jazz, acro, musical theater, and many others. Open Space’s loftiest goals are to create and maintain a warm and welcoming family atmosphere for all dance troop students.
The concept for Open Space started with founder Nicole Purtell-Hill’s love for dance. She was the second child in a family with five children. She began dance classes at the age of two years old and immediately fell in love with it. As she progressed, she would show an exemplary ability to take on various styles and practices.
When Nicole was growing up, she witnessed her parents going through financial struggles while trying to put 4 of their daughters through dance. Those hardships would motivate her to create a studio that would support a child’s desire for dance despite their economic woes. With the help of her family, she would gradually build up Open Space Studio. Her older brother Chris provided support on the business’s administrative and office aspects, and her sisters—all dancers—would help teach classes.
Open Space Studio first opened its doors to the public in 2010. The organization takes pride in making instruction available to young people drawn to the art of dance regardless of socioeconomic status. One of the programs that Open Space has developed to carry out this mission is their in-house scholarship program. Founder Nicole believes that a student’s love for dance or any expression of passion should never be dependent on their socioeconomic or financial status. To that effect, she provides scholarships to anywhere between 15 to 22 percent of her total student enrollment at any given time.
Scholarships at Open Space Studio are primarily need-based and awarded by studio management to students who have proven the grit and commitment to dance practice. Their many expressions of the scholarship include discounted tuitions, waived fees on costumes and competitions, and comped recital tickets for families going through financial struggles. The studio funds all scholarship programs through their revenue streams with additional support from donations from the community. The dance studio also holds a raffle during their annual recitals.
With the COVID-19 restrictions putting the business on halt for months, Open Space also started shifting to online classes for a season. Now that states are opening up, face-to-face classes have now resumed with health and safety precautions in place. Persevering through the global pandemic, Open Space Studio has stood the test of time and now looks forward to expanding its borders, including aiming for a second location in the Cape Cod region hopefully in the future.To follow Open Space Studio and check out their classes, visit their website, Facebook page, and Instagram account.