In 2015, Philadelphia tap dancer, Pamela Hetherington, decided to open a studio space for percussive dance, after many, many years of trying to find studio spaces in Philadelphia that 1) permitted tap shoes, 2) had proper hardwood floors. You would think that these two things would not be hard to find in a major metropolitan city like Philadelphia, but until Sound Space was built, percussive dancers were relegated to Marley (rubber) surfaces or, they were often shut out of studios entirely, due to a prevailing opinion that tap shoes ruin floors.
A Philadelphia native, a dancer, and a dance educator, for decades, Pam also wanted to create a space for the kind of dance training that she felt was missing: grounded in a deep understanding of music and rhythm, driven by a knowledge of world dance traditions and American history, and committed to growing and encouraging the next generation of dance artists.
The first iteration of Sound Space Performing Arts opened in September 2015 at 1525 North Bailey Street, in a 600-square foot converted warehouse space that used to be a busy Philadelphia dairy. Although everyone loved the sprung maple floor at 1525 North Bailey, the space and location proved too small for the bigger dreams that Pam had for Sound Space.
In August 2016, Sound Space began the first steps towards its move to 2511 West Girard Avenue, and we finally opened the doors to the current studio space on March 3, 2017.
The space, the programming and the vision continues to grow. In September of 2019, Sound Space will expand even further to take over the whole second floor at 2511 West Girard Avenue. That means TWO hardwood floors, much more space and more programming for kids and adults.
To read more about the history of the studio, check out The Story of Sound Space on Pam’s blog.