Calli Rothberg is the owner of Passion — The Adult Dance Studio in Beacon, which she opened in 2022. Her responses are excerpted from an interview for the Beaconites podcast.
What do you do at Passion?
One, I’m teaching dance. Beyond that, I’m trying to build a community of like-minded people who want to find joy, pleasure and fun in life. As adults, we don’t always have those spaces that are just for us. Fun and pleasure can be an afterthought — besides going to a bar and drinking. Which is fun, but we want to do other things too, right?
In terms of classes, we have classic nia technique, hip-hop, samba. I teach heels; putting on a pair of heels just does something. It’s like putting on a costume. You can find a different energy that you don’t get to put out there every day.
What inspired you to open the studio?
I work remotely in the tech industry. COVID made me move back to Beacon, where I grew up. I was living in Charleston, South Carolina, but I didn’t have any family there. I come from a large Beacon family, and I’m the oldest of five kids. We all moved home, all five of us. I missed dance. In Charleston I had found this dance studio that had an adult program, where we would put on performances. It was called The Bad Girls Club. Just from that name, you can catch the vibe.
You were wearing heels, I assume.
Heels, minimal clothing. It was raunchy. I loved that community and missed it. I was not in a great place during the pandemic. I had gone from living this amazing life performing in Charleston and getting some of my first paid gigs for dancing to living at home at 28 and working long hours. I decided to find a coach. She was a sex-and-pleasure coach. You’ll think immediately about the act of sex, but it’s so much more than that. You can think about it more as a life coach. How can we bring pleasure to the small things in life — even washing the dishes? She just helped me to get into my body. She’s also a movement coach, so it wasn’t as much talk therapy. It was more than 50 percent movement. Through movement, she helped me get over my fear. I knew that I wanted to do this, even in Charleston, but there was so much fear of failure.
Your mom goes to some of the classes, right?
My mom is like my right hand. She goes to all of the classes. She’s a McElduff. Anyone from Beacon knows the McElduffs. She is No. 9 of 11 siblings.
I’ve heard your family’s house is the second-oldest in Beacon, after Madam Brett’s homestead. True?
Yes. It’s the oldest “lived-in” house, we like to say. It was built in 1794. An old house is creaky. You can’t sneak around. In the dining room there’s a hole in one of the floorboards that goes into the basement, and sometimes we would pass secret messages through the floor. One time we were redoing the siding and my dad found multiple pairs of old shoes. One of my friends in high school came into school one day and said, “Calli, your house is on Wikipedia.”
Behind The Story
News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.