offers over 1500 dance classes a year to students from two-years-old. The program is strong and supports over 150 youth/teen students per semester as well as a consistent population of adults that take classes regularly. Motion Pacific hosts over 20 dance workshops throughout the year, offering opportunities for local dancers to learn from local, regional, national and international artists.
Motion Pacific strives to provide a context in which the presentation of dance can thrive at all levels. In order to support dance at its various stages we have initiated several programs in addition to our bi-annual performance seasons: the emerging choreographer “incubator project,” now in its third year, provides resources and mentorship for early career artists to present in a professional environment and gain valuable tools and experience. Our newest addition is the “max10” program, an uncurated presentation of short works presented in a low-tech environment. These events are designed to encourage feedback and discussion between artists, audiences and peers.
Motion Pacific is a 501(c)3 charitable arts organization dedicated to dance as art, cultivating imagination, community engagement and discipline through accessible dance education and presentation.
Motion Pacific envisions a vibrant dance culture based on artistic excellence. Which serves to strengthen Santa Cruz as a regional, national, and international center for dance performance and training.
To create resources (such as marketing & advertising), peer support, and forum for conversation for the Santa Cruz dance community:
- To assist in the creation & production of original dance
- Promote cultural and artistic diversity and innovation
- Encourage artistic & organizational collaboration to further support the arts in Santa Cruz
- Increase visibility for dance artists in an effort to bring new audiences to dance by increasing accessibility to dance in Santa Cruz County through Annual free community events.
- Dance is essential for the general well-being of any community
- Dance is a constructive tool for healthy expression, communication & appreciation
- Dancers and dance instructors should be paid for their time, like any other profession.
Motion Pacific dance studio opened on January 16th, 1998, founded by dancers Greg Favor, Molly Heaster, and Carmela Woll. The three original owners met while taking dance classes at All The Right Moves (ATRM) in Santa Cruz. After ATRM closed its doors, Greg, Molly, and Carmela pulled together to create a space that would provide a new home to the dance teachers and students who had been displaced. The goal was to establish an outstanding facility and dynamic program that would inspire and train all levels of children and adult dancers in a variety of dance styles, while providing plenty of opportunities for students to showcase their skills in community performances. Motion Pacific succeeded in bringing traditional studio dance (jazz, tap, ballet) into the same location as street and ethnic dance, resulting in unique artistic collaborations and exciting cross-training for the dancers.
In 2009 Abra Allan took over Motion Pacific as Owner/Director. With Abra came the addition of Motion Pacific’s presenting programming.In 2010, Motion Pacific formed an advisory committee, articulated a mission, vision, values and major goals. That same year Motion Pacific secured a fiscal sponsorship and mentorship relationship with Dancers’ Group/San Francisco. In 2011 Motion Pacific renovated a 4000 square foot warehouse in Downtown Santa Cruz. The site serves as a space for dance education and presentation. Motion Pacific presented a full season of dance in the Fall of 2011, and in the Spring of 2012 had six weekends of sold out shows. In the Spring of 2013, Motion Pacific presented a full season of Bay Area and Los Angeles Artists, providing opportunities to local dancers, sharing bills with nationally acclaimed artists.