Get a Move On

Detroit Dance Loft gives a lift to the Eastern Market neighborhood
The Detroit Dance Loft teamed up with the Detroit Flyhouse in a performance for the Denim Design for Life AIDS Benefit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. // Photograph by Scott Lipiec

Detroiters have a new reason to visit Eastern Market.

At the corner of Russell Street and the Fisher Freeway, in a loft space shared with Kung Fu Detroit, the Detroit Dance Loft offers first-rate training and classes similar to drop-in sessions in New York.

That’s no surprise, given that it’s run by Meg Paul, an alum of the Joffrey Ballet and Moving Out. Paul moved from New York City to Detroit three years ago when her husband, Detroit native Vince Paul, became the Music Hall’s president and artistic director.

Her own artistic venture took shape inside a loft with a casual vibe. At Detroit Dance Loft, red tapestries soften exposed brick walls, potted plants rest against weathered poles, and an antique wardrobe contains props and yoga mats.

Even the clientele differs from traditional suburban studios. Classes, which range from ballet to theater, are for adults only. No recitals, creative movement, or tap for tots here.

Students also needn’t be aspiring dancers. Adults wanting to revisit a childhood pastime or just try something new can take beginning classes.

“Because it’s a very adult atmosphere, people aren’t as self-conscious to try a dance class,” Paul says.

She realizes that her loft has a long way to go before it reaches the loyal following that professional studios in New York and Chicago have achieved. But she says she has many hopes for the future of Detroit’s dance community.

Her dreams include forming a troupe that could perform at the Music Hall. “But that isn’t my ultimate goal,” she says. Like a pro who knows about practice and mastering fundamentals, Paul says making connections with already-established metro Detroit companies and dancers is her first step.

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