Millennium Dance Complex Philadelphia coming to South Street

Plans are in full gear to redevelop the former Pearl Art & Craft building located at 417 South St. into an enormous dance/fitness facility called Millennium Dance Complex Philadelphia.

Get ready for some serious dancin' on South St. (Photo: James Jennings)
Get ready for some serious dancin’ on South St. (Photo: James Jennings)

It was about a year ago that we brought you the news that Pearl was to be redeveloped into artist studio space with a rooftop restaurant. Now, the project will be completed in two phases, with the phase one to be ready by Nov. 28 — Black Friday — featuring a star-studded schedule of dance classes from choreographers who have worked with the likes of Beiber, Justin Timberlake, Usher and Beyonce, just to name a few

Owner Lori Ramsay Long, joined by her parents Terry and Robert Ramsay, plans to transform the property from defunct art supplies store to multi-level dance studio experience complete with classes for all ages and skill levels. MDCP will be open 365 days a year and the studio will look to accommodate up to 40 classes per day, each one with a class size of 20 to 150 students. The building is comprised of five usable floors, including the basement and roof, and Ramsay and crew have some serious plans to get the best out of each and every one.

A glimpse of the third floor street art.
A glimpse of the third floor street art. (Photo: Lauren Mame Thomas)

The first floor is 9,000 sq. f.t and will contain the main studio space comprised of four separate rooms. Windows will overlook South St. to bring some energy to the street experience. Additionally, the first floor will also feature two seating areas, a reception and retail desk, student lockers, the choreographers’ office, a conference room, bathrooms and three changing rooms. The essence of the Pearl will still live on, as the old sign will be reused as markers for each studio space.

“The Pearl Arts & Crafts Building always has had a spot in my heart,” Ramsay said in a press release. “I have fond memories from college days when I took fine arts and the Pearl was “the” place to go for supplies. I also love that the building was built over 100 years ago and has endured all the changes in the city. I want to bring life back into this iconic building.”

Being that it’s a family-friendly environment MDCP is going for (Ramsay’s daughter is also a dancer), the second floor (also 9,000 sq. ft. will feature a child care facility. The third floor will be a bright, street art inspired multi-purpose event space used for photography and video sessions.

If you remember the previous proposal, the roof was supposed to be an open-air restaurant space. Now, Ramsay and crew will use that area for outdoor photography and video sessions with skyline views. The basement will be transformed into a fitness facility with a Bootcamp program, workout equipment and an indoor running track, which sounds promising.

Eventually, the idea is to transition the second and third floors into a massage/spa area and private rental event space, respectively.

Black Friday is rapidly approaching and you better get ready for some serious dancin’ on South St. Here’s the schedule of choreographers for the opening weekend:

  • Marty Kudelka (Justin Timberlake’s exclusive choreographer and artistic director)
  • Eddie Morales (Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Stomp the Yard)
  • Lane Napper (Nickelodeon’s Victorious and i-Carly, Camp Pulse Faculty, Warner Bros, Fox, Disney, Discovery Channel)
  • Ashle’ Dawson (Top four of So You Think You Can Dance, MTV Made, 2013 Champion Spanish Dancing with the Stars, Latin Grammy’s, 2014 Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Choreographer)
  • Tommie-Waheed Evans (Complexions, Resident Choreographer Eleone Dance Theater, Philadanco, The Parkers, Radio City Christmas Spectacular)
  • Chris Erk (Broadway Dance Center Faculty, Tap Dogs, Broadway Underground)
  • Anthony Burrell (Dance Mom’s, Raising Asia, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Katy Perry)
  • Neil Schwartz (Broadway Dance Center Faculty, Assistant Choreographer Icona Pop, America’s Got Talent, Choreographer Pharrell’s Fragrance Launch)
  • Others to be announced

For more information, and some inspiration, check out MDCP on Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Millennium Dance Complex Philadelphia coming to South Street

  • October 28, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Oh, great….another magnet for pedophiles on the hippest, street in town.

  • October 29, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Sheila and John used to shop at the supply store to decorate our dance studio and fitness center in Haddon Hts NJ. We are happy to see a historic place being used for the arts and fitness we are so excited to see the building being used and not torn down we shopped there for years we still have that Philly connection.Go MDCP!

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