Landmark building sold, dancers in need of new place to practice

Posted at 6:37 PM, Sep 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-19 18:37:27-04

For as long as Mary Verdi-Fletcher can remember, she wanted to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a professional dancer.

"There were no classes for children with disabilities," said Verdi-Fletcher.

She was born with Spina Bifida. Verdi-Fletcher made her dream come true 37 years ago when she started Dancing Wheels Company, a professional dance company and school for dancers with and without disabilities.

The group tours across the country but has called the Masonic Performance Center on Euclid Avenue home for nearly 20 years.

That all changed recently with one phone call. The building had been sold and she was told they had to leave.

"I was in tears, I had to hold them back to think we weren't going to be here anymore. This is our home," Verdi-Fletcher explained.

Finding a new home won't be easy. It needs to be spacious, handicap accessible, on a bus line and in the mid-town area.

Lil Craig of 2reel is trying out to be part of the company.

"I haven't had the chance to work with people who have the same kind of disability as me," he explained.

The group needs to be out by May 2018. There is a possibility of staying until August. Until then, the group will be working to find a new place and to raise money to equip the new studio with all that is needed for both dancers who are disabled and those who are not. 

If you would like to help visit Dancing Wheels Company's website.