Three years after the Thomas School of Dance moved out of its longtime home at 16 State St. in Bangor, another dance-based business has moved into the since-vacant upper floors of the prominent downtown building.
The Spiral Goddess Collective, owned by Sarah Hentges, opened its doors this week, offering classes in yoga, dance and guided meditation. Hentges, who has taught yoga and dance fitness for the past 25 years in addition to her full-time job as a professor of American studies at the University of Maine at Augusta’s Bangor campus, said she very nearly stumbled into her new space after leaving a massage appointment across the street this past June.
“Boom, right there on the window was a sign, ‘Space for lease for dance, yoga, pilates.’ I kind of couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I went in for a tour that afternoon and, well, here we are. It does feel like it was kind of meant to be.”
As professor of transdisciplinary studies, Hentges already knows a thing or two about wearing several different hats at once. It’s a skill that’s served her well over the years, as she’s juggled her twin passions of her academic career and teaching and sharing fitness and healing movement.
“I’m not someone that does anything halfway, so my dream for this space is to have it be a community center, where people can go to feel better — not just to lose weight or get fit. It’s about healing,” Hentges said. She also plans to offer scholarships for those who want to try yoga but may not be able to afford it.
16 State St. was the home of Thomas School of Dance for nearly 25 years, until the building was purchased by current owners Robb and Christen Gordon in March 2019, and the dance school moved out in fall 2019. It is now located at 193 Union St., in the former Grace United Methodist Church. The ground floor of the building remains vacant.
Though Hentges will teach yoga at the Spiral Goddess, she’s most excited about a class she’s recently begun teaching called JourneyDance.
“It’s really a healing form of movement that allows people to tap into the therapeutic aspect of dance. It’s not about choreography so much as it is about guided movement and doing what makes you feel good in the moment,” she said.
Spiral Goddess refers to what Hentges says is the female archetype that she’s inspired by — a world builder and caregiver.
“It’s for all the women who work all day and give so much and often forget to take care of themselves,” she said.
Other instructors and class offerings include yoga with Imke Schessler-Jandreau, guided meditation with Alex Gilgan and, later on, dance classes with Suzanne Kelly.
The Spiral Goddess Collective, owned by Sarah Hentges, opened this week at 16 State St. in Bangor, offering classes in yoga, dance and guided meditation. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN
Hentges said she’s always wanted to be a part of the downtown Bangor business community, and is thrilled to finally have the chance to do so.
“There’s a lot of great energy here and I’m really excited to tap into that potential,” she said.
The Spiral Goddess Collective will hold a free “discovery hour” open house from 7 to 8 p.m. on Friday, as part of Bangor’s First Friday Art Walk and ARTober kickoff celebration.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated Sarah Hentges’ title at the University of Maine at Augusta’s Bangor campus and how long she has taught yoga and dance fitness.