There's no place like home for the holidays.
Dancers with Imagine Ballet Theatre are thrilled to finally have a home, which was finished just in time to rehearse for their performances of "The Nutcracker."
"This is 6,000 square feet for dance," said Raymond Van Mason, speaking of the company's new studio at 2432 Washington Blvd.
Founded in 2003, the Ogden company for most of that time held classes and rehearsals at Peery's Egyptian Theater.
"It became somewhat of a problem for the theater to keep a daily routine that a ballet school has to have," said Mason, artistic director of the ballet.
Mason considered putting a studio in the building across the street from Peery's Egyptian Theater, but the cost was too high. Difficulties with another building, and changes in the market, brought him back to the building east of Peery's Egyptian Theater. He was able to make a deal.
"Between January and getting in here, we moved 10 times," he said. "Keeping the company going, and the school going at the same time, amongst all that moving around has been somewhat of a nightmare -- for me as well as my dancers."
The new space has three studios off the lobby, a break room for dancers, and a sewing and costuming room. It has an industrial look, making use of the building's old brick walls and keeping costs down with exposed ducts.
Taking advantage of the industrial design, Mason had a giant garage door installed between the lobby and main studio.
"There are a lot of garage bands -- we're going to have a garage ballet," he joked.
Parents can watch classes through windows of the door, and it can be opened to enlarge the space for performances.
"We often do small things, where renting the theater is a little bit too expensive," said Mason. "I hope to add a children's series, where we do some small 20- to 25-minute ballets. ... We can put on a performance in this space with little kids, where they can get right up close and personal to see the dancers."
For now, the company's just happy to have its own space -- a space that can be used any way the troupe wants.
"The other night, after the parade, we came here and they had hot chocolate and doughnuts," Mason said. "They feel like this is finally home."