The Chicago Journal

Barre Not Barriers: Open Space Studio Inc Breaks All Four Walls

Image Internally Provided
Image Internally Provided

There is no such thing as barriers to dreams in the world of dance. This is the idea that laid the foundation for Open Space Studio Inc. Established in 2010, the studio has opened its doors to students of all shapes and sizes and has been home to exceptional dancers fueled by talent and passion.

The sisters behind Open Space Studio, Nicole and Brittany Purtell, created the space on the founding principle that a student’s love for dance or any expression of passion should never be dependent on their socioeconomic or financial status to encourage the realization of dancing aspirations, much like the siblings growing up.

To say that Nicole and Brittany had a rough start would be an understatement. Since the age of two, Brittany has been tapping to the beat, taking dance lessons with her sister, Nicole. Growing up, their family only had enough money to get by and, to help his little girls build the stage of their dreams, their father would barter printing for Nicole’s and Brittany’s dance classes.

“My sister and I grew up with an abusive mother, and dancing at the studio became our safe place from our unsafe home. Our childhood studios became our safe places and the dream to start Nicole’s studio began,” Brittany revealed.

Turning to dance to escape her horrid reality, Nicole began to envision a safe yet affordable place “where all children are included and will create some of the best memories of their childhood,” she said.

Years later, she made it happen. Over ten years after it became available to the public, Open Space Studio Inc has been voted as “Plymouth’s Most Loved” dance studio by HulaFrog for the last three years.

Employing a unique, cornerstone principle that establishes a “family atmosphere” in its classes, Open Space Studio offers a wide range of dance genres for students of all ages and cognitive abilities. Along with its extensive repertoire, the studio also boasts an unmatched scholarship fund.

True to Nicole’s and Brittany’s initial intention, Open Space Studio provides scholarships to students who have proven their commitment to dance. These scholarships provide a comped or discounted tuition to the awarded students comprising roughly 15 to 20 percent of the studio’s annual enrollees and have been a source of pride to the Purtell siblings.

Not just socioeconomic barriers, the studio has begun to erase physical borders as well, having adapted to virtual dance classes within the second week of enforced lockdown when the COVID-19 pandemic was announced. With its quick transition to online learning, Open Space Studio’s bright students were able to continue dancing and keep structure and routine.

The learning process at Open Space Studio Inc allows its teachers to apply corrections positively and supportively, helping students grow into their dancing shoes and providing a healthy and enjoyable outlet amid the stress that the coronavirus has brought. 

Seeing the potential in online classes, Open Space Studio hopes to expand its virtual program across the United States while also offering in-person classes at the studio. “We hope that parents and guardians will see these virtual dance classes as a perfect way to re-engage their children to the outside world and socialize, albeit through computer screens,” Brittany shares.

Learn more about and be a part of the Open Space family. Visit Open Space Studio Inc on its official website and witness how the studio breaks all four walls and other needlessly restrictive barriers standing between a child and a dream.