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National Dance Institute Opens New Harlem Space

By Jeff Mays | October 12, 2011 8:19am 
Yitzhak Franco and Emma Kantor, both 16, dance at the National Dance Institute's new Harlem studios.
Yitzhak Franco and Emma Kantor, both 16, dance at the National Dance Institute's new Harlem studios.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

HARLEM—Yitzhak Franco and Emma Kantor danced effortlessly around the National Dance Institute's new studios on West 147th Street in Harlem Tuesday.

With Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed" as their soundtrack and their two teachers giving instructions, Kantor jumped into Franco's arms. Her feet hovered above the studio floor as he spun her in the air.

"There was this giant pole in the old space," said Kantor, 16. "These studios just invite you to dance."

After 35 years of moving around the city, the institute, founded in 1976 by former New York City Ballet principal dancer Jacques d'Amboise, finally has a permanent place to call home.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand to cut the ribbon to the new space which includes four studios, a 175 seat performance space, gallery and offices.

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