Longtime Huntsville business ‘Ann’s Studio of Dance’ will move to new building

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- A dispute over traffic through the Mayfair neighborhood has plagued Ann's Studio of Dance for several years - and through several courts. In the most recent ruling, a judge required them to begin a shuttle service for students to alleviate traffic.

Ann Brown told WHNT News 19 they'd rather move than break the law. So that's what they're doing.

Like a dance, the future of Ann's Studio of Dance is evolving. They're headed to a building at 2227 Drake Ave. SW, which is currently being renovated into a new studio less than two miles away from the old one. When construction ends in July and the new studio opens in August, the new space will have brand new dance floors and all the same dance mirrors and bars the students are used to.

It's been a journey for Ann's Studio of Dance to get to this point. Some of it has been very negative, said Brown, but they're looking at the positives and doing just fine. Volunteers, including parents and dance instructors, are busy clearing out the old place and putting props and other things into storage pods. For many of them, looking through all that stuff is nostalgic.

"It's where I grew up. Dance was my first passion and it's because of Ann's and the opportunities they gave me," said instructor Samantha Fotovich.  But she said it's not the building that makes the memories, it's the people inside it. "They're all going to the new location with us," she told WHNT News 19.

Also on the list to move are the large dancers decorating the building where Ann has had her studio for the past 48 years. This year would be their 49th. The copper dancers are symbolic of the students who have danced their way around the studio and through the community, all over the country, taking the knowledge they learned with them.

Ann Brown tells us the new building will be much better for them. It has "easy access," she said, "because it's not as crowded" to move around that area of Huntsville. She said it also has a lit parking lot that's big enough to serve the studio. She wishes luck to those who take over the old building, which she hates to leave, but "it's just time to move on," she commented.

When Ann's opens in the new location in August, it will be open six days a week for classes. There are new clients who are joining the team, and Brown is hoping the new building can allow them to grow even more.

This move is bittersweet for the community that danced at Ann's over the years. Allison Click said she's a former dancer, who now teaches at Ann's and has children taking lessons there now too. 

"It's bittersweet," she said, "because the only location I ever knew was right there on Whitesburg. It's iconic for Whitesburg, and also for Huntsville."

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