The Happening started when I convinced the strata of a live/work building on East Fourth and Scotia that they should have a small dance studio in their building. They fell in love with the idea (and me, I think!) and I moved into my new live/work space in June 2013. I spent 2 months getting it ready to launch The Happening’s first summer school in August 2013; I had 3 students for that summer camp, and 9 students when our first season opened that September. I’m delighted that 5 of those original 9 students are still dancing with The Happening today!
(While I was applying to the city for a business license, I learned that (technically) I was not allowed to have a dance studio in a live/work space. Even though I’d won the strata’s approval, dance doesn’t fall into the category of in-home businesses permitted by the city. Oh, the things that I know now!)
By January 2014 the studio had grown to 21 students, and when the loft at East Fourth and Scotia sold in April 2014, we moved our classes to The Centre. Our first season finished with a performance at The Vancouver East Cultural Centre (aka The Cultch!)
We started our lease agreement and renovation of the Fraser Street space in April 2014. Because these things always take much longer than you think (more things that I know now) we (myself and 60 students!) had to start our second season using The Polish Community Centre.
We were in our new space on Fraser and 38th Ave by December 2014, and held our Christmas parent viewing in the space we now call home.
The Happening has continued to grow and expand. This year we have over 254 students and 440 enrolments, we've added four new instructors for a total of seven faculty members, and we have physically expanded with a second studio right next door to our existing space.
The Happening to me has been a dream that I never imagined would take this much work, time, passion, love, tears, and faith. I have wholeheartedly pursued this with everything in me, and convinced many people along the way that this would work (even when I was fighting my own doubts and disbelief).
I could not have done this without the amazing community that surrounds me in and around The Happening; you’ve made a choice to make this studio your dance home, and that has made this dream a reality. Thank you for being on this wild and beautiful journey with me - I cannot wait to write more of The Happening’s story with all of you!