In January, Theresia Munywoki will partner with the Our 42nd Avenue Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative to open a multicultural movement studio called (Com)motion in the new Maker’s Row building at 4522 N.E. 42nd Ave. in the Cully neighborhood. A grand opening is planned for January 25.
Munywoki will be an instructor and serve as project manager for the studio. Laura Voss and Michael DeMarco at Our 42nd Avenue coordinated the tenant-improvement work for the space.
(Com)motion will be one of the first businesses to open in Nick and Risa Boyer Leritz’s mixed-use apartment building, and will be joined by Jenn Pereau’s Rawdacious Desserts next door.
“I started talking with Michael about teaching a dance class in the neighborhood before we knew we were going to develop a space for it,” said Munywoki. “Our conversations slowly transformed from teaching a class to creating a space for the class – and other classes. I’ve been dancing for over ten years and practicing yoga for about five, so being a part of this studio makes perfect sense. We’ve been working on the project for about a year and it has been a team effort. B&G Builders did a lot of the contracting work and everyone at Our 42nd Avenue and myself have been working together to put the floor in and a ballet barre.”
(Com)motion will feature a diverse variety of classes offering different forms of movement.
“At the moment, we have several yoga and dance classes, a fitness class and a class for ‘poi’ spinning – which is spinning with fire,” said Munywoki. “We’ll have many more classes and we want them to be as diverse as possible. Our business plan is to support teachers who are underrepresented, so we plan to make space for people of color, queer people, people of all ages, people with different bodies and people with different abilities, to support community-building and connecting in a way that engages with social activism and actively participating in positive change. I believe that having that goal in place and having conversations about inclusion also encourages intentional physical movement and that spiritual growth will allow us to accomplish our goals.”
“Myself and my business partners all work in the neighborhood,” said Munywoki. “I am a transplant to Portland from Texas. I started working at Miss Zumstein Bakery and Coffee Shop a couple of years ago and that’s how I met everyone from Our 42nd. I spend a lot of time in the Cully area. I dog sit in the neighborhood and have also worked at Red Sauce Pizza and Side Yard Farm. I also regularly get my hair done at MeRae’s on 42nd – she’s an amazing stylist – and awesome acupuncture from Kristen Dilley at Nightingale. I love it here.”
For more information, call 971-217-8240 or visit www.commotion.org.