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Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Co.

Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Co. 1 Dance Dance Studios East Village

Dance at Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company is a community as well as an art, according to Donna and Enrique who opened the studio on the same street where it was first founded forty-five years ago. They were displaced for a short time, explained Enrique, but now, they have found themselves “back on the block."

Nowadays, they teach the young and old in classes from Argentine Tango to Salsa and Yoga as well as organizing community and school performances. “It is for us to pass along as it was passed along to us,” Donna said, thoughtfully.

Donna and Enrique believe that Alpha Omega - despite being a smaller organization than some of their competitors - has been around for so long because of their strong commitment to growing organically, allowing their voices to be heard through their art. “It doesn’t matter if you have the best technique in the world if you can’t say anything,” Enrique stated.

Though they organize many performances in the community, their main objective is to teach. They do this through classes as well as the Choreographer Showcase Series, which aims to teach young choreographers how to add marketing skills to their creativity.

I was most impressed to learn that there is a group of about twenty-five senior citizens that performs at quite a few events. The class began with the aim to get them moving, but it soon became clear that it was a mental workout as well. “It was as if they returned to what they were like when they were young,” Enrique shared, and then continued while laughing, “They’re dirtier than the young people. They talk like they’re in a bar.”

At Alpha Omega, the couple has a unique commitment to not following trends. The way they see it, doing "older work" does not mean that you are dated. Rather, it is an admission that truth can also be found in the past. Even if it does not follow the path that everyone else is taking, according to Enrique, “you have to be true to who you are." This kind of outlook allows them the ability to ‘“rock the boat,” the space to grow organically, and the freedom to make their voices heard. “We are an ongoing book that is still being written,” added Donna.

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Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Co. 1 Dance Dance Studios East Village
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Pageant Print Shop 1 Bookstores Family Owned undefined

Pageant Print Shop

Pageant Print Shop’s entirely glass storefront bordered by light blue is instantly eye-catching and proudly displays the treasure within. Inside its bright, buttercream interior, an immense assortment of old prints and maps line every wall and fill neatly-labeled display racks. This sanctuary of beautiful historical pieces was created by Sidney Solomon and Henry Chafetz in 1946. It was originally one of the many second-hand book stores on Fourth Avenue, an area that was then known as “Book Row. ” Now under the leadership of Sidney’s daughters, Shirley and Rebecca, Pageant Print Shop primarily sells old prints and is thriving at its current 4th Street location. Having worked with historic pieces her whole life, Shirley knows how to get the best prints. She has amassed her impressive collection from antique book auctions as well as other various sources that she has built up over the years. Roger, who has been working at Pageant Print Shop for over a decade, told Manhattan Sideways that “what we are looking for are old books with the bindings broken that are really not in very good shape on the outside, but still have good quality prints, maps, or illustrations on the inside. ” Although they search for old books based on the contents within, the shop also sells the old bindings for creatives looking to make decoupage and other fun art projects. Pageant Print Shop is definitely a fixture in the East Village, and in the words of Roger, is “one of those neighborhood jams. ” They enjoy “a loyal group of people that have been coming here for eons, " tourists looking for something authentically New York City, and neighborhood people walking by. He told us that newcomers are often “surprised that they are able to buy a piece of history, ” and return for more of their authentic, beautiful, and historic prints. Pageant Print Shop is unique in its extensive, high quality, and affordable selection. Roger affirmed that “It’s going to be hard for you to find someone who has this kind of a collection at these kinds of prices — it’s just true. ”