History

DC Wheel Productions, Inc. / Dance Place was founded by Carla Perlo and Steve Bloom in 1978 as an educational and performing arts company, which toured the public schools in the Greater DC Metropolitan area. In 1980, DC Wheel Productions, Inc. established a studio and theater under the name Dance Place in Adams Morgan and has been doing business under that name ever since. Dance Place purchased its permanent home in Brookland / Edgewood in 1986, converting an abandoned warehouse into a thriving community cultural center.

In 2014, the building underwent major renovations and expansion as part of the organization’s Moving Forward capital campaign. The final stage of our Arts Campus was completed in 2016, the 8th St Arts Park, which converted the asphalt alley between our building and the adjacent Brookland Artspace Lofts into a vibrant public space. Today, our campus includes three training and rehearsal studios, a 144-seat theater, two offices, a children’s center, the 8th St Arts Park and housing for artists and interns.

For decades, Dance Place thrived under the leadership of Founding Director Carla Perlo and Co-Director Deborah Riley. In 2017, Christopher K. Morgan succeeded Carla and Deborah as the new Executive Artistic Director, propelling Dance Place into a promising new stage.

Dance Place’s rich history with innovative programming has earned the organization a national reputation for building the field of dance, creative placemaking and providing model educational programs for youth. Dance Place has been heralded as the “hub of dance activity in Washington, DC” (Alan Kriegsman, The Washington Post).

Dance Place has been awarded the DC Mayor’s Arts Award for “Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education” and “Excellence in Service to the Arts.” In 2017, the Kresge Foundation profiled Dance Place as a leading example of best practices in creative placemaking.