Motion Pacific

Motion Pacific is a 501 (c) 3 charitable arts organization.

About Motion Pacific: Motion Pacific offers over 1500 dance classes a year to students of all ages. Our thriving educational program supports over 150 youth/teen students per semester, and a consistent population of adults who take classes regularly. Motion Pacific hosts over 20 dance workshops throughout the year, offering opportunities for dancers to learn from local, regional, national and international artists.

Motion Pacific is a place where dance artists are nurtured at all stages of the their development. In order to support dance in our community, and make performing opportunities available in a variety of contexts, we have initiated several programs in addition to our bi-annual curated performance seasons. Each year we select one emerging choreographer for the Incubator Project, providing resources and mentorship for early career artists to present their choreography in a professional environment, and gain valuable tools and experience. Our newest program is max10 Performance Laboratory, an uncurated salon of short works presented in a low-tech environment. Both of these programs are designed to encourage feedback and discussion between artists, audiences and peers.


Motion Pacific is 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.


Dance as artistic practice At Motion Pacific we are dedicated to artistic excellence and integrity; providing our students with the opportunity to develop their both technical and creative potential. We are committed to offering the students opportunities to engage and train with professional dance artists.

Dance as critical, cultural and personal inquiry Motion Pacific value’s dance and dance making as embodied critical thinking and personal inquiry. We respect our students as diverse artists in training and look for ways to support their personal empowerment and confident self expression.

Dance as community engagement Motion Pacific is committed to fostering a sense of connection and belonging and to offering open access to dance. Our emphasis on performance opportunities supports students in sharing their developments and discoveries with their community.


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. For the last four years, Motion Pacific has presented a full Fall and Spring season of dance, providing opportunities to local dancers, sharing bills with nationally acclaimed artists. In 2014 Motion Pacific became a 501(c)3 charitable arts organization.