Summer 2014
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STH welcomes new faculty member Stephanie Van Dooren to Camp Gowanee this summer. Stephanie will also be teaching STH’s most advanced youth ballet and modern dance technique classes this fall.  
Writing home from Camp Gowanee...

Dear Friends,

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of summer, at Spoke the Hub’s CAMP GOWANEE, and so far, our June into July weeks at the Hub have been pretty spectacular!

In June, STH’s free LOCAL PRODUCE events animated three of Park Slope’s most luscious community green spaces and reached thousands of local residents.

STH traded our rehearsal studio at the Gowanus Arts Building with the Brooklyn Music Factory (BMF) who will be taking over most of the 2nd floor where they will expand their school, add a music performance space, and work with STH on creating new music and dance collaborations, membership options and collaborative performances.

If you have walked by STH Re:Creation Center this past month, you might have noticed a flurry of activity amid the scaffolding covering our emerging new facade. What you can’t see from the street, however, is our first “starter” mini-green roof made possible with a grant from the Park Slope Civic Council. The roof was installed with help from our Brooklyn Grange friends Gwen Schantz & Jesse Rosenthal, and the brawn and good humor of over a dozen intrepid volunteers.  

The new building facade, to be completed with a new mosaic this August, and the little green roof installation, mark the formal ending of STH’s 748 Union Street renovation begun in 2007 - just in time to launch an even bigger Gowanus Arts building makeover in September!  Read more about the upcoming GOWANUS ARTS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT below and how you can help.

It’s an auspicious beginning, looking to be one of Spoke’s best summers yet. We’ll send more reports from the field next month, so stay tuned and hope to see you here at camp in the next few weeks or at our Open House and Fall Registration on September 6 and 7 so we can catch up in person.  

Stay Cool,


Early Registration for Fall Classes is ON!!!
Deadline July 31st

Photo by Joseph Sharp

Register NOW for Adult and Kids Fall 2014 Classes and receive STH’s Early Bird Discount before the closing deadline: July 31, 2014. Please note: tuition will go up on August 1st so this is your last chance to receive last year’s pricing!

Here are a few of the exciting new classes and instructors on our fall schedule

  • Lunchtime Yoga, Ballet and Fitness Workouts with Dalienne Majors & Karen Munson
  • Smarty Pens: Where Digital Natives Write (ages 9-12 ) with Deepali Srivastava 

  • Teen Latin, Ballroom & Swing with Special Guest Instructors

  • Wiggles & Squiggles (ages 4-5) with Stephanie Franck

  • Yoga & Alexander Technique with Joan Arnold

  • Zumba and Latin Dance with Bethina Flores

Check for full schedule and details.

Mindy Toro, at age 10, (next to Zachary Kruskal) performing with Elise Long and Spoke the Hub in "Saraswati" commissioned by Lincoln Center.  Photo: David Kumin

with guest artist Mindy Toro

Geared for serious young dancers, ages 10 and up. Must have previous dance experience and be able to make all rehearsals and performances.

Collaborate on and perform a brand new dance work choreographed by guest artist Mindy Toro to be presented at the end of the week at Gowanus Arts and at other events in September as part of  Spoke the Hub’s upcoming “Stairway to Heaven” Capital Campaign -- read more about this exciting new project below!

August 18-22, 2:00 - 5:30 pm
Workshop Fee: $150 /wk

* Students registered in Elise Long’s “Do-It-Yourself Dance and Theater Workshop” may take this performance workshop with Ms.Toro for free.  

Debut Performance 
Friday, August 22 at 7:00pm
Spoke the Hub Main Space (3rd floor, buzzer 6) 
@ Gowanus Arts, 295 Douglass Street (between 3rd and 4th Avenues) Brooklyn, NY

Mindy Toro was a dance scholarship student at STH since childhood, and is currently graduating as a full scholarship dance major at Connecticut College. She has performed with many choreographers in  venues such as Danspace, Lincoln Center and the Judson Church in NYC, and recently presented her own work at STH’s Local Produce Festival at the Old Stone House.



Fri., Sept. 5, 2014

Spoke the Hub’s Main Space
@ Gowanus Arts Building
4:00 - 6:00 pm

A limited number of full and partial dance scholarships, based on merit and financial need, are available to students between the ages of 8 and 16 for the academic year.Children of color are particularly encouraged to apply.

All applicants must sign-up in advance to audition, complete the application form AND submit their most recent tax returns with their application materials when they come to the audition. Applications without financial documentation will not be considered.

Check for application and details.


Sat. Sept. 6 & Sun. Sept. 7, 2014

STH Re:Creation Center
748 Union Street @ 6th Avenue
9:30 am - 4:30 pm.
Come meet our stellar faculty, try-out sample classes for kids and adults, and tour our beautiful studios! 
Limited to 12 per class -  first come, first served

Check for full schedule 


Fri. Sept. 5 - Sun. Sept. 7, 2014

Spoke the Hub’s Main Space
@ Gowanus Arts Building
4:00 - 6:00 pm
Spoke the Hub is proud to present this years’ Director’s Choice Showcase! We invite you to see some of our favorite performers from the infamous and zany Winter Follies showcase last January. This year’s featured artists are: Blow Out Theatre, Chicava Honey Child, Elsco Dance, Terry Hempling and Stormy Budwig.

Check for full schedule and advanced ticket sales.



On August 1st, Spoke the Hub will launch a new 2014 STH Membership package. This membership will offer two different tuition prices for Members and Non-Members. STH Members will receive discounts on classes, free and half price tickets to most STH performances and events, discounts on party rentals and many other great perks. We are partnering with local businesses and many of our delightful teaching associates to offer a 10% discount on their classes and services as well.

Like to join STH's "Preferred Merchant" List of businesses and services offering special deals and discounts to our Membership? Contact to sign on to our fall roster.

Sept. 12 & 13, 2014
People’s Choice Showcase

Spoke the Hub’s Main Space
@ Gowanus Arts Building

Spoke the Hub is proud to present this years Winter Follies  "People’s Choice" winners, a double-header this season, featuring new work by Jess Grippo and Jennifer Roit.
Check for full schedule and advanced ticket sales.


With the completion of the green roof and facade restoration at 748 Union Street, STH’s million dollar renovation of the STH Re:Creation Center in Park Slope (begun in 2007) is now complete. STH is now ready to take on an even more ambitious makeover of the Gowanus Arts building on Douglass Street. The research and planning stages of this upcoming renovation began over a year ago, and STH Artistic Director Elise Long has been gathering together an exciting  creative team of professional consultants who are putting together a bold vision for the “new” Gowanus. This team includes:

  • Ceacy Cooke (a former dancer) of CetraRuddy Architects who have donated their design services;
  • Gwen Schantz of Brooklyn Grange, who will design and install the new 6,000 sq. ft., bi-level “Gowanus Sky Farm” and green roofs;
  • Roger Kapsalis, Director of Capital Services at Massey Knakal Real Estate, who will help STH secure a construction loan and explore other financing options.

Plans for a new stairwell, hopefully a new elevator, a community kitchen, an expanded ADA compliant theater/event space, a community art gallery, an artists' collective and a dedicated studio art teaching space are all in the works as well.

Want to be part of this grand Gowanus barn raising? Are you a general contractor, carpenter, electrician, plumber or a woman in the trades who might be willing to donate part - or all? - of your services to our not-for-profit, tax-exempt,  rockin' multi-purpose community arts organization? Or, might you just have deep pockets and an altruistic bent and want to help us realize this inspirational  community art center's vision and, in exchange, have an elevator, a green roof, or perhaps even our lovely new theater named after you or a loved one?  If so, we need to talk.  Please contact

Note: STH hopes to start soliciting bids from contractors in the early fall. If you or someone you know is an experienced, creative, efficient and resourceful general contractor who would like to be considered for this amazing community project in the heart of the Gowanus, please get in touch! Women contractors are especially encouraged to apply.
STH Staff & Community News

Mark Lamb Check out his interview in this month's Magnolia Mouth where he discusses his experience with the Moth and his inspiration for his "A Boy and his Dolly" story.

Mindy Toro has been selected to create a new site specific work for Dance at Socrates at Socrates Sculpture Garden in Long Island City on Aug 30, 31, with rain date Sept 1st.



Rachel Dostal (Spoke student) performs in “Employee of the Year”

Pictured: Groundswell artists and teenage artists-in-training standing in front of the mural they created with and for the Gowanus Arts building in 2012 but relocated to a building across from Metrotech on Flatbush Avenue due to owner/developer Marc Freud/Troutbrook Co. scuttling his own project at the last minute.

Find Out Why The Boycott is Back

After another year of attempting to settle the ongoing conflict between Spoke the Hub Dancing and the Fairfield Marriott hotel owner and Madison Avenue developer, Marc Freud of Troutbrook Realty, all negotiations have once again broken down.These negotiations began last Labor Day with Freud/Troutbrook threatening to sue Spoke the Hub with a frivolous lawsuit. This past week, despite the best efforts of the Fairfield Marriott's own management team, Freud/Troutbrook once again refused to honor their obligation to make Spoke the Hub, Groundswell and Gowanus Arts whole again.

Prior to the latest stalemate, the Fairfield Marriott recruited a hotel associate, David Price, to step in. Price was given the daunting task of brokering a settlement deal between the Marriott and Spoke the Hub - and he did so brilliantly. His compromise proposal, which was presented with Freud/Troutbrook’s collaboration and approval, was accepted by both Spoke the Hub and the Gowanus Arts building owners. It included repaying the Gowanus for the damaged wall Freud/Troutbrook had agreed to repair (and then didn’t); putting money into escrow for a new mural to replace the free Groundswell mural Freud denied the Gowanus Arts building two summers ago; making both community not-for-profit arts organizations - Spoke the Hub and Groundswell - whole again; and providing Spoke the Hub with an ongoing youth dance scholarship into perpetuity. Again, in the 11th hour, Freud refused to sign off on his own team’s settlement proposal, one of his excuses being "his hotel was currently not making enough of a profit" to pay the not-for-profits their due.

Thus, STH’s BOYCOTT the MARRIOTT protest is back on. Find out how you can join our August into Fall sidewalk protest performances in front of the hotel. Buy - and wear! - our BOYCOTT the MARRIOTT t-shirts, and help us paint our first of three bed bug murals on one facade of our building this August. We also ask all neighborhood artists and arts patrons to encourage your visiting families and guests to stay at any one of the many other hotels in our neighborhood when they come to town.  

Or, if they must stay at the Marriott, ask them to write a review about the hotel on TRIP ADVISOR, HOTEL.COM and all  other online hotel review sites, specifically noting our artists’ boycott.  Help us spread the word about the hypocrisy of this international hotel conglomerate, and the deplorable behind the scenes behavior of their franchise owner in particular.  For further information on how you can join our protest performances and mural painting projects, please contact:

Gowanus Arts building's Groundswell mural relocated to Flatbush Avenue building because of Freud/Troutbrook's obstruction.

For Those Who Speak and Those Who Have Yet to Speak
Groundswell © 2012
In collaboration with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
Acrylic on brick, 45 x 84 ft
185 Flatbush Avenue Extension, Downtown Brooklyn
Lead Artist: Nicole Schulman
Assistant Artist: Leola Bermanzohn
Youth Artists: Dakota Austin, Anayshah Bashier, Rebecca Cocks, Andrany Dorcely, Dominique Etienne, Jennifer Etienne, Jasmine Gallard,  Katarina Howard, Casey Jones, Oonagh Jordon,  Kaiesha Joseph, Christina McMillan, Diana Mellow, Marinique Mora,  Edina Music, Desmonae Wilson, and Anna Zanes
Dimensions: 84 x 45ft
Copyright © 2014 Spoke the Hub Dancing, All rights reserved.

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