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Arts center opens its doors in Jamaica Plain

Posted by boston.com  December 3, 2013 01:42 PM

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A new dance studio is planning to open its doors later this month in Jamaica Plain.

The Origination Cultural Arts Center is moving from Roxbury to 3708 Washington
St., into a freshly constructed studio. It was designed by Founding Executive and
Artistic Director Shaumba Dibinga.

“It’s very different from our old space but has the energy and the family vibe our students embrace,” said Dibinga.

Dibinga studied dance at the Boston Conservatory and has taught at the Boston
Renaissance Charter School. She said she once was offered a position as a dancer in the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, but turned it down to continue teaching.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love performing!” said Dibinga. “But once I started working with young people I realized that this [teaching] was my calling.”

Origination’s mission is to empower and bestow confidence in its students through performing art. The studio has a dance institute and a professional dance division alongside a tae-kwon do department.

With the studio approaching the 20th anniversary of its founding, Dibinga decided it was time to “make a change.” The new studio will continue providing its usual dance and tae-kwon do classes in the evenings while adding a number of new classes in the morning.

“We’ve had a lot of people call and ask us if we’ll be open during the day, and that’s one of the biggest changes with the new studio,” said Dibinga, who’s currently teaching classes at the Egelston Community High School in Roxbury while the studio transitions. “We’ll have some morning classes, pilates mommy-and-me classes, Zumba, etc. We’re adding onto our schedule so that we can invite a lot more people into our studio.”

New faces will mix with old as well as current students prepare for the move to Jamaica Plain. Lexis Alleyne, 17, has danced for Origination for more than a decade now, and says she’s excited for the new studio.

“I’m happy to see we’re not just sticking to one place,” says Alleyne. “We’re able to move around.”

Dibinga said JP businesses and citizens have both been very receptive to the new studio. She said she hopes it will bring new faces and new energy to the “family” of Origination.

“Our energy is going to be the same and even more at our new studio,” said Dibinga.

Origination will open as soon as its building permits have been finalized, she said.

This article is being published under an arrangement between the Boston Globe and Emerson College.

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