By Ann Garcia
My name is Ann Garcia, and I have chosen to present the Todd Rosenlieb Dance Center, or as it’s commonly known, Todd’s. Todd’s is located at 325 Granby Street in downtown Norfolk, and it is one of the most well-known dance studios in our area.
The building Todd’s is located in has much history behind it. It was originally built in the 20s as a vaudeville theater, then it was converted to a movie theater called The Strand, and then in the 30s, it became a shoe store named Hofheimer’s. In 2005, the building would be reimagined as it currently stands, as the TRDance Center, fully renovated with the plans of architect Burkhart Thomas Reed. After all this time, the building has stood as a mark of Norfolk’s very own performing arts history, and through Todd’s, it continues that legacy.
Todd’s is named after and directed by Todd Rosenlieb, accomplished dancer, choreographer, and instructor. Todd has worked on numerous projects, some of which include choreographing for locals like Old Dominion University and the Virginia Arts Festival.
Today, at Todd’s, instructors teach classes in ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, and more. In addition, there are two performing companies – the Virginia Ballet Theatre and the TRDance Company. These companies put on regular performances, one of which is the Arts for Life performance that occurs near the end of the year. This performance showcases various performing artists in the Hampton Roads area and the proceeds from it go towards ACCESS Aids Care, which is now a part of the LGBT Life Center.
The reason Todd’s was selected for this queer walking tour is because Todd Rosenlieb himself is a queer individual, his partner being Ricardo Melendez, associate artistic director at TRDance. Todd and TRDance have contributed greatly not only to the arts in our city of Norfolk, but also to our LGBT+ community. They have provided a safe space for queer individuals to perform their art and regularly give back to the LGBT+ community. TRDance, as an LGBT-owned business, stands as a monument to LGBT+ success, its doors wide open for individuals of all kinds. Todd Rosenlieb has much to be proud of, and we appreciate his work and the TRDance studio.