Susana LaCubana could dance you under the table, but she wouldnt shes much too nice. Shes wearing a powder blue velour track suit with her hair pulled back in a braid that extends to her sacrum; her eyes light up when she talks about break, salsa, belly, and vertical pole dancing. Nobody is putting all of these different styles in one place, she says, pointing into her new studio, SLC Dance Factory (2021 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood). As passersby stop to gawk in the front windows, they see something they didnt expect to encounter in Downtown Hollywood: a lounge-style dance space with tagged walls that look a little like the cover of Wild Style. As far as Susanas concerned, this is exactly what a culturally diverse city like Hollywood has been missing.
The goal was to create an environment where both professional dancers and uncoordinated (but curious) locals could train in an eclectic assortment of styles, while also providing a community nexus (SLC will soon feature a raw food bar, juice bar, and open mic nights). So she snagged the lease on the 90-year-old building, gutted it, brought it into the 2000s, and then pulled together a crew of experienced dance educators. Now students are rushing in to learn breakdancing on Monday nights (also on Saturdays and Sundays), as well as stiletto cardio classes, vertical pole dancing, and tons of other unconventional themes that incorporate everything from Reggeaton to Salsa. Its a great alternative for would-be active types who get bored at gyms; a monthly membership card runs at $50 and gets you open-access to many classes and discounts on select others. You can also pay as you go: tonights intro to breakdancing class costs $8 to $15, and Susana promises that you dont have to know an uprock from a freeze beforehand.