My first visit to Studio 1924 for the early Sunday Evening Milonga was a very pleasant surprise.
The space is reminiscent of the Speakeasy’s of the 1920’s. It is very nondescript from the outside. You take the elevator to the third floor and walk down the meandering hall way until you find the welcoming atmosphere. Pass code not needed… yet.
Count and Melissa have done a great job with this space. The room is cloaked in moody red light. Mirrors flank the side walls. There are three small-ish side rooms each with there own theme. The game room, the video room (for video confessions) and a moody blue room. These rooms are great for stashing your stuff or just relaxing in between tandas. Plus there are a couple of couches along the dance floor for your lounging comfort (a big plus in my book). Tango movies are projected against the brick wall outside directly opposite the large windows in the back. Snacks and wine are provided. Plus there is a brand new wood dance floor! All of these elements add up to a fantastic space for dancing.
The location is also excellent. It’s right in downtown Oakland… an up and coming area for night life, with lots of cool bars and restaurants nearby. Parking is super easy in the evenings and the Bart is just one block away.
Speaking with Melissa, the co-founder and Executive Director of Studio 1924 (Count Glover is co-founder and Creative Director), I asked her how Studio 1924 came to fruition. This is what she had to say:As most tango students, I was craving a spot close to home where I could practice more tango. Living in Oakland, I wished there were more tango practica opportunities in the East Bay. Instead of wishing for it, I decided to find a space to host a Sunday practica. Once I found the space at 1924 Franklin, I immediately saw potential for more than just practicas, but I knew I was not qualified to host a milonga. I did, however, think it would be fun to hold other dance events there, such as salsa socials, for people who are tired of the night club scene. I liked the idea of creating a space that feels like a friend’s expansive living room and envisioned each side room off of the dance floor as a place for lounging and socializing, where people could truly be comfortable and get to know each other. Count had been attending the Sunday practicas and helping me a lot with the events. Like me, he also saw the potential in the space and our ideas were eerily in synch. With our similar visions, his 16 years of tango experience, and his background of growing up in his grandmother’s dance studio, we decided to team up and make it a fully-functioning dance studio.
I also asked her about future plans for the studio:It is our second month and we have already launched a lunchtime program for downtown Oakland workers, where they can escape their desks for the hour and take a dance class, including lunch. We hope to reach a lot of downtown Oakland through this program. Collaborative projects with other Oakland businesses are a focus. We also plan to have activities other than dance in the space, such as poetry readings, nutrition workshops, and art showings. In terms of upgrades, we just finished upgrading the dance floor on the third floor and plan to do the second floor very shortly. Have no doubt, we are working hard and full of concepts and plans to upgrade… and we admit that there is a little something to be said for the element of surprise…
I am personally looking forward to these “surprises” and doing a lot of dancing at Studio 1924.
Dance classes offered include Argentine Tango, Salsa, West Coast Swing, Belly Dancing, Zumba, Capoiera and Kizomba. They also plan to have regular themed dance parties at the studio.
You’ve got to check this place out!
And the perfect opportunity arises on Friday, November 2nd for the OPEN HOUSE! Come prepared for fun and lots of surprises!!
Visit their website to learn more: studio1924.com