Many studios

Congratulations to all the Mercerart dancers that are with us at our dance classes now being held at the Mercer Island Community Center. This is the start of our 57th year of dance on Mercer Island. Here we go again! It is possible that we are the second oldest existing business on Mercer Island. When we started our dance classes, the shopping center was mostly a cow pasture owned by a dairy. We purchased the property from the Calkins family, one of the Island’s pioneer families. A big beautiful studio was built. After about 10 years of teaching there, crazy things started to happen. The 1-90 highway went over our property. That was our first move. We had to move out of the way of the highway. Our building was moved to get out of the way of the I-90 project and we went back to work teaching. Less than 2 years later, we were required to move again, because the highway needed an exit ramp. So…we had to move and we bought a new piece of property out of the way of the highway. We had a local architect design us a modern studio that looked like the lunar lander of the 1970’s moon shots. We went to the City to get a building permit and the clerk said, “Wait a minute, we just had a meeting with the highway department and your property is going to be part of the North Mercer interchange.” Sooooo we had to buy another piece of property on which we built our 4th studio, and got back to teaching/dancing. We taught there for 16 years and then the government wanted our property again to build the Park and Ride lot! We then moved into the 5th location in 1987…which most of you know to this date. We taught there until we were finally “run-out” not by the Highway Dept., but by exceedingly high land values. As you know, the north-end shopping center has been a boom town. Very large developments are planned for most of the land in the shopping center. Through all of this we have had fabulous support from the dance students and their parents! Many, many talented dancers have gone on to successful careers in dance… On Broadway, Las Vegas, L.A., San Francisco, and more. Many own their own successful dance schools. Thank you, everyone, for your support over the years and we’re looking forward for another “bright” productive year 2014-2015. “You too, can be a star”! With love, as ever,Camille and Ray