A Message From Center For Movement Arts

Dear CMA Community,

Sherie and I are devastated to bring you this news, but we are out of choices.

The current lease on our building expires August 31st. We will not be renewing the lease. CMA will permanently close on that date. We will continue classes through July 30th. Further details follow.

If you wish to keep in touch with Tim and Sherie, most importantly if you are willing and able to help us close out the studio, please respond to this email. Our old email address, info@cmadance.com will be shut down in a couple weeks. Future emails should be sent to the email address of this notice, cmadances@gmail.com

Simply put, the pandemic hurt us in ways we could not repair. We lost a percentage of our enrollment in the initial three months of the lockdown. Over the course of 18 months despite our best efforts, more drifted away due to “Zoom fatigue”. By the end of two and one-half years, we had lost more than 60% of our enrollment. We had hoped that re-opening to in-person classes would bring at least some of the students we lost back to us but that did not occur. We, our teachers, and many of you fought for nearly two and one-half years to keep CMA open. We did everything we could think to do. We tried over and over to have some communication with the owners to negotiate some way for CMA to continue but they refused to communicate beyond a threat of eviction. We applied for every sort of government assistance available, ran a GoFundMe campaign, cut teacher pay by 30% and our own by 75%. We have been using what little personal savings available to prop up CMA. None of these efforts have had the needed effect. If we were to sign another long-term lease it would be financial suicide.

We are profoundly grateful to our core teachers: Margretta Hansen, Taryn Johnson, Brett Mills, Michelle Grote and Cait Powers for their inspired technical work and choreography for our children and for cleaving themselves to our mission of teaching in a considered, kind and supportive manner In order to welcome an inclusive population of dancers – from professionally driven, to those simply sampling our beloved art just for fun. We are also grateful for the long, long list of guest artist/teachers we had the pleasure to work with over 25 years, headed by Laura Haney, Summer Morgan, Tracy Broyles, Brenna McDonald, Gregg Bielemeier, Lucy Brush, Cynthia Tosh, Bobby Fouther, Sekou Somah and countless others.

We are proud that we accomplished our mission of creating a studio that was accessible to all dancers, no matter their abilities, body type, race, or gender identification; that we were able to send students on to study or perform with San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Ballet Met, Houston Ballet, Anna Sokolo Co in NYC, OBT, Jefferson Dancers and many others. But we are just as proud of all those dancers who graduated from CMA with a very high level of skill as well as enormous academic accomplishment. We are also very proud of our long history of public service: Butterball Ballet fundraisers for the Oregon Food Bank, and the many, many performances CMA DANCERS had in memory care centers, nursing homes and assisted living/retirement complexes for over 13 years. We are immensely proud of building “the Third Place” for our adults, kids and their families.

The worst thing for us is leaving all of you who have been so supportive and loyal not just during the pandemic but well before. Our current crop of children has stuck with us through the initial shock of the lock down, the mind deadening effect of Zoom ballet classes and the inability to perform (which is the entire point of studying a performing art). They did everything we asked of them and even more. We are mortified we cannot continue, but it is a reality we cannot ignore.

We will never be able to re-pay the faith and trust our CMA families gave to us. We hope you all continue to dance for the joy it brings to you and so many others.

Our best wishes and deepest gratitude for being even a small part of your lives and giving us our sweetest memories,

Tim & Sherie Ryan
Directors, Center for Movement Arts