Thrilled to work with kids, Kathy Halfacre dedicates her time to young adults and helping them stay off the streets. A dance instructor and mother, Halfacre loves opening up The Substance Dance Center to the public for monthly band concerts.
Nicknamed “The Nest,” three to five local bands gather at The Substance Dance Center from 7 to 10 p.m. and rock out for the people in attendance. A $5 admission and live music attracts crowds of people.
Halfacre opened her studio to the public years ago when a band titled Somewhere a Bird Screams began looking for a spot to rehearse. Ever since then, Halfacre has allowed local bands to rehearse and perform at her studio, such as band Soul Status which frequents the dance center for concerts.
Every week Halfacre teaches her pupils the art of dance. She instructs beginning classes to advanced classes such as Jazz 4. “I like the close bonds with the girls and performing the dances,” said junior Marylou Greene, a dancer in Jazz 4.
All the students embrace each other warmly. Hugs follow excited greetings as various dance members trickle in. Previous dance members visit the studio as well, stopping by for a quick hello or to watch a performance.
The dancers freely choreograph original dances once they reach level 4. The genres of dance include ballet, hip-hop and modern/jazz.
Dancers are placed in classes depending on their skills and the presence or lack of previous dance lessons. They work hard as a group to master their moves. The dancers perform at the fair, during the fair parade and have a big concert at Walla Walla Community College in December along with several other performances.
The Nest also contains a miniature skate park with two ramps inside. Kids flock there on a regular basis to hone their skateboarding and bike skills.
The Nest is currently one of the few hot spots in Walla Walla, functioning as a dance studio, a miniature skate park and a performing area for local bands.