An interview with Elaine Young, Owner of New Canaan Dance Academy
PATCH: What made you decide to open a business in New Canaan?
NCDA: My husband and I and our two children have lived in New Canaan since 1989, and it was just logical to open my dance studio here. I grew up in London studying multiple dance styles, but tap was always my first love, so I wanted to bring a tap studio to New Canaan. I opened the New Canaan Academy of Tap in September 2001, and subsequently changed the name a few years later to as the school grew, and because we began to teach all the dance disciplines including ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop, as well as breakdancing!
PATCH: What makes your business unique? What distinguishes what you do from other businesses?
NCDA: We love helping the local community where we can and showing our support by participating in various events throughout New Canaan. We always encourage our students to join with NCDA in donating not just their time to charitable causes, but to contribute by sharing their talents as dancers with their community. We have held dance-a-thons for charities supporting survivors of 9/11, Katrina, and the Haiti earthquake, as well as participated in several annual local charity fundraisers.
PATCH: What is your opinion/take on the current commercial real estate market in New Canaan?
NCDA: The market seems to be a bit messy right now with many businesses doing very well, but with many that have not survived the recent economic downturns. We hear how rental prices have become too high, but hopefully the prices will settle down and be consistent with supply and demand. We feel very fortunate because we have a wonderful landlord in Bill Griffin, who was very instrumental in helping us build out the space exactly how we wanted it. He even recommended a flooring company that came to us all the way from Rhode Island. Many of the contractors who helped us build the space were the original contractors who built the building.
PATCH: What direction would you like to see for the downtown?
NCDA: I think Forest Street should be used as a model for the rest of New Canaan!! We have a little bit of everything — retail, office, restaurants, two performing arts studios, with a balance favoring privately owned businesses over national chains. And that leads to a community of ownership which can be very unique.
PATCH: Do you have any closing comments about the commercial real estate market in New Canaan.
NCDA: I think the P & Z Commission and the Town Planner have very tough jobs in evaluating all the projects that are presented to them. My family and I settled in New Canaan because we like the small town feel here, so I would be disappointed to see any projects for the sake of “progress” that would change that feel.
FOR LEASE - NEW CANAAN
99 Main St.
21 Locust Ave.
$28.00 per/sf1st Floor
21 Locust Ave.
This information was obtained from Loopnet.