MAKING [creative] SPACE - Dancetheatre David Earle

Dancetheatre David Earle (DtDE) is a beautiful dance studio located in the historic Masonic building in downtown Guelph and provides creative space to many of the region's most talented artists and instructors.

Established in by internationally renowned choreographer David Earle in 2001, the studio is home to the Dancetheatre David Earle dance company and has provided studio space to a wonderful array of independent performers and instructors in the community over the years.  

Classes in Guelph Youth Dance, Kung-Fu, Gyrokinesis, Nia and other forms of dance, as well as rehearsals for dance and other performing arts take place throughout the week while the dance company its self offers professional and community outreach classes to the community.  The intention behind the programming that takes place at the studio is to provide uplifting, motivating and inspirational experiences to engage the mind, body and spirit.

I sit down with Michael English and DtDE’s assistant Freddie in the long narrow reception room to have our creative spaces chat.  Michael is cinematically poised in front a tall dramatic bookshelf. With hands moving fluidly, he takes me on a journey through the lifecycles of DtDE.  Michael is the general manager and one of the senior dance artists with Dancetheatre David Earle and throughout our conversation, I find myself leaning in, transfixed much like I am when I watch and experience dance performances.

Photo courtesy of Dancetheatre David Earle

Michael shares with me the beginnings of DtDE, and much like so many of the creative spaces in Guelph, the community its self existed before the space. According to Michael, it was their “enthusiasm and naivite” that got them into the business of renting out space, but he is also quick to tell me that it wasn’t long at all before the studios fully came to life.

With so many groups, teachers and dancers using this space now, the challenges that have surfaced have mostly had to do with how to accommodate everyone’s inspirations and plans. It is clear from this conversation that this creative space is fluid and ever-changing, and that the work before them now has to do with how to balance individual and community needs. This is a work in progress I’m told and that they expect the building to be even busier as of September 2015. 

We are so fortunate to have Dancetheatre David Earle as a part of the cultural fabric in Guelph.  Not only do the studios offer wonderful creative space, but the company, and community that has evolved around it hold a great creative force for the community at large.

Dancetheatre David Earle’s professional level summer intensive training program is renowned in the contemporary dance world. Visiting professional dance artists travel to Guelph each summer to explore and develop their practice.

Because of the size of the dance community here, artists that aspire to dance with the company start out by simply dancing with their mentors and teachers. Through this organic process, new company members emerge and over time they become part of the community.  

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Photo courtesy of Dancetheatre David Earle

David Earle established the dance company in Guelph a few years after leaving Toronto Dance Theatre. His mission at the time was to "to preserve the values that are sacred to [him] in Life and in dance."  He is a celebrated choreographer who has traveled the world with his famed work Sacra Conversazione. In 1996 he became a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his extensive repertoire. His passionate work aims “to reaffirm certain values that are threatened in our society such as dignity, respect, honour, and commitment,” and for this he has earned much respect.

If you want to experience the breadth of Dancetheatre David Earle, there are plenty of ways to do so.  On April 11th, 2015, the company will take the stage at the River Run Centre to present  Sacred Dance.  In this unique piece, the company will dance to a live choral performance of Mozart’s Requiem by Guelph Chamber Choir and Musica Viva Orchestra. We are very lucky to have this powerful piece performed here in Guelph for the first time, so do attend if you can.

Dancetheatre David Earle is also opening its doors to the community this year as a part of Guelph Arts Council’s presentation of Doors Open Guelph on April 25th from 10am-4pm.  Curious visitors can get a behind the scenes peek at the activity in studios as a part of the Guelph Masonic Building tour. Doors Open visitors to DtDE should enter the building through the back entrance via 21 Chapel Lane.

If you are looking to rent this beautiful creative space with breathing room, the studio spaces are suitable all kinds of creative endeavors including dance, yoga, pilates, martial arts, meditation, rehearsals, performances, art exhibitions, private parties, concerts and photography.

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Photo courtesy of Dancetheatre David Earle

And of course, if you want to get even closer, you are surely invited to take one of the many classes offered at the DtDE studios in downtown Guelph. I am certain that you will be welcomed with open arms and invited in to dance, grow and play.

For more information visit or call 519.837.2746

For space bookings and inquiries contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 519.837.2746

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