Get to know your CADA/West

May 2014 Member's Newsletter

This edition features a profile of CADA/West Professional Artist & Business Member Darcy McMurray & Full Circle Studio; an announcement of our AGM; & our monthly dance citizenship challenge.

Profile: Darcy McMurray & Full Circle Studio

Darcy McMurray is a Dance Artist, Pilates Instructor Trainer & Owner of Full Circle Studio—Movement Arts

When/Why did you open Full Circle Pilates?

I decided to move back to Vancouver in 2005. I had been living in Toronto, travelling around the world training Pilates instructors and dancing part time. I found that after teaching Pilates for a couple of years in Vancouver, I was getting so many requests to take on students, I was constantly trying to rent and add hours into the various studios I was teaching at. Around that same time I had been asked by a colleague if I was interested in opening a studio to assist her with the Stott Instructor Training in Vancouver. The offer came with a generous amount of equipment on a 2 year loan to get things started. It felt like it was a great opportunity to jump at, so i did!

I opened my studio in 2008. At that point it was called Full Circle Pilates and Health. It was a little studio in the main floor of a house. During my 5 years there, I slowly grew the business. Eventually I had 6 instructors and a receptionist. Things were running quite smoothly, it was an exciting time for me, I had created a space I could work at any time I needed, yet I was free to travel, take dance contracts and my instructors had a place to teach. Things felt great!

What's new at the studio?

Last spring, upon my return from a trip, I realized the house my studio was in had been sold and was scheduled for demolition. I had to make some quick and crucial decisions. Do I fold my business that was just getting off it's feet? Or, do I find a new space?

This ended up being a far bigger decision than anticipated. I was making a jump from paying residential rent prices into paying commercial prices. I also knew that I was interested in diversifying my studio concept, which meant getting a bigger space.

I loved having a Pilates studio, but my true passion is dance. I wanted a space I could move in. I also wanted to approach dance more holistically, integrating visual art, meditation, singing, dance, space to cook and space to gather community and connect in. I changed the name of the studio to Full Circle Studio—Movement Arts, to reflect my shift in studio concept.

I looked at over 50 places in Vancouver before I finally came across the space at 1183 Odlum Dr. It was way beyond my budget, but I could see so much potential in the space. It felt good. So it took it!

I spent every single day last last summer renovating the space with help of friends and some pros. It was an incredible experience for me, as I had the opportunity to design and create a space. I knew as I went in to this venture that I wanted to create a space filled with beauty. I wanted to have a studio that made people want to be there and stay. I feel so blessed every time I walk into my gorgeous studio! It still surprises me that it's mine.

This past year has undoubtedly been the hardest on me. The juggling of working as a studio owner and working as an independent dance artist, simply means working a lot! I take days away from the studio, but rarely take a day off work. I love multitasking, so I can take on and remember a lot at once.

I think my best ally is to present at whatever I'm doing. When I'm at rehearsal, I'm not thinking about my business. When I'm at the studio, I fully dive into teaching or any admin that needs to be addressed.

I have an incredible staff that helps me keep things afloat. Plus, even as I work through these hard days and deal with the pressure of my responsibility, I realize how lucky I am because I absolutely love what I do.

What should a dance artist know about your studio?

I'm glad I can offer an easy rehearsal space on the East Side. I love this part of town and I know there's a growing need for movement/rehearsal space in Vancouver. I rent the studio weekday evenings, 8pm onwards for a flat rate of $50. For the dance community, I offer the space at $25/hr for rehearsal.

I also know how much Pilates has helped me support and extend my career as a dancer. I know Pilates can be an expensive choice, so I offer a 10% discount to all dance artists at my studio.

What role do you see Full Circle Pilates playing in the community in the next 3 years?

My new studio is still growing into itself. My hope is that throughout the next couple years, I continue to host more small shows, and art events. I love having performance in my space. I want to be a venue that is accessible to emerging artists. I want to be a gathering space and a space to elicit change within our community. I host shows for $100 flat rate for an evening, and if I make enough at the bar, I will waive the fee.

As an artist and a business owner, I want to bridge the gap between having ideas and making them come to fruition. I see my place in this community as someone who can support ideas with my studio space. If people are curious about how they can get involved or have an idea for an event, please come talk to me. I have a vessel that can host so much, I'm so excited to watch it grow!


This year's CADA/West Annual General Meeting, where you can voice your opinions and help guide the future of our organization, will be held July 12, 2014 at the Firehall Arts Centre, during the Dancing on the Edge Festival.

Attend the AGM from 6–6:35pm & watch the 7pm DOTE Show for a special CADA/West Member rate of $22.

Contact us to take advantage of this ticket deal and stay tuned for more info.

Speak With Your Feet

This month's dance citizenship challenge...

Attend a arts event, outside of the form you practice.

Dance does not exist in a vacuum. It is affected by, and related to, many things. Like all cultural forms, dance is part of a rich web of expression and influences. What is currently piquing your interest?

Need Ideas?

Many galleries, in many towns/cities, do not charge admission.
Many major galleries have 'cheap' nights.
Check out the line-up of summer festivals happening near you.
See a film in a park or at a repertory cinema.
Attend a free literary event at your public library.
Attend a concert by someone who's work you're not already familiar with.

CADA/West and its Members,

ensuring dance remains vital to our culture.

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designed, written and built by Deanna Peters, CADA/West Communications Officer