Lang, a dancer and choreographer, moved to Long Island City in 2008 after marrying her husband Kanji Segawa, also a dancer, in 2007. She started her own dance company, Jessica Lang Dance, in 2011, and it needed a new home.
Come September, her company will finally have one at 5-39 46th Avenue.
Lang grew up in Pennsylvania, where she went to a local dancing school and ballet conservatory.
“Then I came to New York because I went to the Julliard School,” Lang said. “I graduated with a BFA in dance from there. I’ve lived here ever since.”
Lang was a professional dancer with Twyla Tharp, and then transitioned into choreography in 1999. Her long list of accomplishments includes more than 92 works for various companies.
The Jessica Lang Dance Center will offer a variety of dance classes – from ballet to modern – to both youth and adults. It will also teach cultural and folk dances that reflect the diversity of Queens.
Lang said the community aspect of her new center is extremely important.
“I know the area is rich with culture, but I know there is a need for a space like this that offers professional-level, top-quality teaching and dance,” she said. “It’s also a home for our company. Otherwise, we’re constantly shifting between studio spaces around New York City. It can affect the quality of the work we do.”
With the support of elected officials and the dancing community, she hopes to teach community members about movement and visual art.
“I feel really responsible to educate and inspire anyone that comes in contact with who we are as an organization,” Lang said. “If I can do that within the community in which I live, it’s just great.”