Our Story

Step One

In our formative years, my best friends and I were fortunate to have parents who made concerted efforts to ensure we grew up in a safe, healthy and nurturing environment. Our parents did not baby us. They were both, steadfast and loving in their approach to raising us, individually and as a community.

Our favored and most memorable parties were in the basement of the Owens’ house. Mr. and Mrs. Owens knew all the kids at the parties and they knew all the parents of the kids at the parties. Mrs. Owens and her sister would sit at the kitchen table at the top of the stairs, playing Scrabble, while we were in the basement laughing and singing and dancing to music played mostly from 45 rpm records everybody brought and shared — wearing out the stylus on that precious monophonic record player.

Our parents understood the energy and dynamics of teenaged kids. They kept us occupied with activities and organizations that included sports, church, scouting and yes, parties. One of Mrs. Owens’ contributions was to let us have parties in her home, in a safe environment, making sure we didn’t grow up too fast.

Those parties taught us that we could have fun – actually a great time – without losing our senses through artificial means. As I grew older, through high school, college, the disco era, to now, I enjoyed an occasional party but I knew it was time to leave a party when that party stopped looking like the parties at Mrs. Owens’ house.

My best friends include the core of the group that attended those parties at the Owens’ house. We are adults now and, while some will enjoy a drink or two, none lose their mind, come party time. That way, we remember how much fun we’ve had.

Step Two

In the mid-1980s, a group of fifteen to twenty people from my church gathered together for a potluck Thanksgiving dinner. Most of us were single, so our get-together was a way for us to have a “family” gathering to celebrate the holiday. 

John, one of the worship leaders from church, asked his sister Sandra to teach us a particular song, so she did, accompanied by her brother on an electronic keyboard. It happened that nearly all of the people at the party had musical abilities and our impromptu rendition of the song sounded pretty good, with everyone choosing the range and harmonies with which they were most comfortable. 

Hearing and sharing the music brought smiles and laughter. It was fun! We sang a few more songs, then somebody said, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a place to go where we could sing and listen to music? — a place that was different from what the (normal) world offers — a place where we could go to have fun and enjoy a healthy atmosphere.” That was the gist of it, at least. Everybody at the party agreed and there was excitement and brief conversation of what that place could be. As with many ideas and dreams, the excitement faded soon after we all went to our separate homes.

Thirty-five years, or so, later, I found myself in a position to bring such a place to life. The House is that place now. My business partner and I bought and renovated a building in Poway, California with the intent to offer a healthy place for people to gather for music and dance. My perspective has always been, “It’s not THAT you sing or dance; it matters HOW or WHY you sing or dance.”

Step Three

One of the contractors who worked on our renovation brought his kids to The House for a soft-opening party we organized in April of 2023. About twenty minutes into our group dance session, his 6-year-old daughter said, “Daddy, this is so much fun. Can we stay to the end?” Not only did he and his family stay until the end of the party, he signed up to take piano lessons at The House.

Very early into our existence as a music and dance studio, we had a dance lesson where the youngest person dancing was eight years old and the person with the most years was eighty-nine. Now, we don’t think that the range of ages at every session will be so big. However, it sure was nice seeing the varied ages and people of different backgrounds come together at one time and have so much fun.

Step Four

At The House, you can learn how to dance, learn how to sing, learn how to play … or practice any of these things … in an environment that is safe and healthy for you, your friends and your family. 

This place is to be a refuge. We want you to be comfortable at The House. Walk through the door, leaving the weight of the world outside, at least for a while. Come dance; we will teach you, if you don’t know how. Come sing; we will help you get better at it. Come play music, if you know how, or come learn, if you don’t. Come snap your fingers, tap your feet, clap your hands, sway or dance … but come to The House … and just have fun.

Tony Allen
Co-Owner, The House, Music and Dance Studio