Relocating from Georgetown to Wilton Center has meant a great deal to Conservatory of Dance owner Christine Titus.
“It’s a 180-degree difference. People aren’t even in the door and their jaws drop. I’m thrilled. It’s been a long time coming. It’s a huge step up, facility-wise. We’re obviously the same studio, but we can offer more; we have more space; I have so many ideas in my brain of things we can do with this space,” she said.
Finding the right location did take Titus a long time. Her old space in Georgetown was a very small, two room studio she’d inherited when she bought the dance school six years ago. But she searched for three years, until finding more than 3,000 square feet of untouched real estate on the second floor at 151 Old Ridgefield Road—the newer building between Wilton Library and the Stop and Shop shopping center.
“It was a wide open space and we made use of every single nook and cranny. My husband [builder Jeff Titus of Wilton’s Titus Built] just went to town. He designed it perfectly for us,” she explained.
The new space features three large studios: one classical ballet room, with barre-lined walls; one dance space tailored for her younger, preschool students; and a third, large space. Titus wanted the décor to feel more “modern, New York-chic,” but she said the lengthy time it took to find exactly the right space allowed her to put a lot of thought into every single detail beyond just cosmetics.
All three studios boast the same, modern features that Titus says make the new facility “state-of-the art, it’s all high-tech.”
"There are ceiling ‘clouds’ sound panels. The floors are specially engineered floors for dance—they’re floating floors. They’re actually not even nailed down—they’re shock absorbent with thousands of sponges underneath the tiles so it’s much more shock absorbent for dancers, for leaping and jumping. It’s a wireless sound system throughout—I can just carry my iPod or phone to control everything, and don’t have to plug in at all,” she said.
Not only is each studio sound-proof, but there’s also a closed-circuit camera system where parents can watch the classes going on in the studios on the TV monitor in the lobby. Doors and interior windows with one-way glass allow the same thing—parents can observe without distracting the students dancing inside.
The physical expansion allows Titus to expand her class roster. “We’re starting a whole bunch of new 10-week courses and workshops, and we’re trying new things—acting classes, African dance, dancers’ yoga, adult tap, more camps, voice lessons, small group guitar lessons. We can offer more with three studios—I have the space for it. It’s just a huge amount of potential for new things.”
As a result, Titus said that the Conservatory, with 350 current students, will now be able to serve more dancers as she adds more classes. That, and the location change, are very meaningful for the Wilton business (that's already proven itself to be popular with clients—it was chosen to be a Patch reader favorite in 2012).
“It’s huge to be in the center of Wilton. It’s so convenient. People are just so happy to be downtown, to have all the amenities around, and to be in this particular building, they just say, ‘Wow!’ Even the Redding and Weston people.”
The Conservatory has scheduled a Grand Opening this weekend, with drop-in activities planned for Friday night as well as all day Saturday and Sunday. “We have free trial classes, a ‘Princess Party’ for younger dancers, a hip-hop party, as well as a wine and cheese meet-and-greet reception on Saturday night where some of the dancers will perform, and other classes,” Titus said.
Members of the public interested in attending any of the events can check the studio’s website or call the studio directly for more information. “Regular classes will be going on so people can come look in, see what’s going on, and if they even want to jump in and join one, they can. It’s going to be a fun couple of days,” Titus said.
In addition, on Friday evening, one of the Conservatory’s fifth grade classes will perform at the Wilton Education Foundation’s “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” show at the Clune Auditorium.