Sunday, April 22 , 2018, 7:51 am | Fair 52º


Gustafson Dance, State Street Ballet On the Move

Their new studio will have more performance space for their nearly 500 dancers.

After 15 years at their State Street studio, Gustafson Dance and State Street Ballet will move into their permanent digs off Las Positas Road near Highway 101.

“We’ll still be called State Street Ballet,” said Nicole Comella, assistant director of Gustafson Dance.

According to Comella, the move has been anticipated for a while, as the owner of their building at 322 State St. sold the property and the dance school is in a short lease.

They were able to find a new space, thanks to developer and arts supporter Michael Towbes, who offered the new studio, still under construction, under “generous” terms.

Gustafson Dance will be in a shopping center just south of the freeway on Las Positas Road in a studio called the Gail Towbes Center for Dance, named for the developer’s late first wife.

“It has a similar amount of space,” said Comella, who for 15 years has been involved with Gustafson Dance as a principal dancer with the professional troupe, State Street Ballet, and as an instructor with the school. “But the layout is better.”

The new studio will be able to better accommodate the nearly 500 dancers who are part of Gustafson Dance and State Street Ballet, about half of whom are children younger than age 6. There also will be a performance space and loads of parking.

For the moment, however, the dance school still will have to wait as the studio is completed, which should be in late September or early October. Classes will be interrupted for about a week while the dance school migrates to the new studio.

“It’ll be a permanent space for the professional dancers,” Comella said, “and any traveling companies that come to Santa Barbara.”

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at [email protected]

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