A Life of Dance – Debi Larsen And The Redding Dance Centre


Photos by Stephanie Blair Ralls – Blair Collections

The North State is home to a variety of businesses and organizations that promote the arts and is privileged that these include the remarkable talents of artists such as Deborah (Debi) Larsen, owner and director of Redding Dance Centre.

Debi’s career includes performance, choreography, teaching, directing and production. She received her dance training primarily in New York and San Francisco and has visited and studied in prestigious schools in England, France and Russia. Her academic background includes a Masters of Arts in creative arts education/movement and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in ballet. Debi also has a background in anatomy, kinesiology, dance orthopedics and dance therapy.

The Redding Dance Centre features 8000 square feet of space including three large dance studios with sprung floors. In this unique professional setting, students of all ages explore dance in a safe atmosphere while benefitting from the dedication of Debi and her staff. Over 35 classes are offered weekly in four dance mediums: ballet, modern, tap, and jazz.

art-0114-dance2Debi is proud of the centre’s students. “I derive so much satisfaction seeing our students achieve their goals in dance,” she says. “I love watching them master their technique and develop as artists.”

She explains that dance is essential because “dance, as with all the arts, brings a quality to life. It allows one to communicate on a different level – on a visceral level. Dance builds poise, confidence and discipline.”

Dance is the combining of music, movement and emotion that brings a special meaning to participants and observers alike. Some say dance emulates life. For Debi, “It has been my joy and my sorrow, my love and my hate, my work and my play,” she says. “It gives me amazing energy one day and totally exhausts me the next.”

That dance can foster such extremes of emotion is understandable; it can be a taxing discipline, demanding from body, mind and soul. Art can have an extraordinary effect on our lives. As we master our art, we master ourselves.

Every June the Redding Dance Centre hosts a full-scale dance production at the Redding Civic Auditorium. Each annual event is a challenging undertaking involving over 200 of the centre’s dancers, plus other innovative minds that handle the music, costumes, sets and more.

Meeting the challenge is natural for Debi. She enjoys being behind the scenes and making things happen. Beyond her tenure as a performer, she knew she had something more to say and something more to give. She’s followed that inspiration and now has over 80 dance productions to her credit. “We love what we do and hope that when people attend our performances they will love it too,”  Debi says.

Redding Dance Centre is located at 862 Butte St. in Redding. Find more information online at http://www.reddingdancecentre.com, or call the centre at (530) 243-2211.

Alyxandra Stackfleth
About Alyxandra Stackfleth

Writer Alyxandra Stackfleth lives in Siskiyou County and enjoys traditional jazz, Russian literature, and foreign languages.

Lisa Shara
About Lisa Shara

Writer Lisa Shara lives in upper Northern California where she is involved in a variety of community projects.

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