Gutting a Belly-Dancing Studio for a Place to Row in Weslayan Plaza

This white box, covering up the emergency exit of a vacated belly-dancing studio, will be the new entrance of Houston’s first indoor rowing facility, says founder Greg Scheinman. In West University Place, ROW Studios is building out the former Sirrom Dance behind the Randall’s in Weslayan Plaza and resurfacing the parking lot facing Academy St.


Scheinman says the buildout has taken the dance studio down to its studs to introduce an amphitheater that will be equipped with 3 tiers of rowing machines. Rowing guru and trainer Shane Farmer is ROW Studios co-founder and will be designing the classes that Scheinman expects to begin in April.

Photos: Allyn West

20 Comment

  • Nice wordplay: “Gutting a Belly-Dancing Studio”

  • I am one of the owners of Sirrom Studio. We don’t teach just belly dance, we are a world dance studio and teach salsa, flamenco, tango, hula, etc. ” Gutting a belly dance studio” I suppose to you is a clever play on words, to the owners of Sirrom it is not just offensive but an inaccurate description of what the studio has offered in dance education for 30 years plus to the Houston community. If you are a reporter you should get your facts straight.

  • Wow, someone has thin skin today.

  • Do ya’ll teach any skills that are actually useful in real life?

  • I think a better (more sensitive) title would be “Last Dance”… cue the Donna Summer music.

  • @ Patricia M. Davis – Sorry to hear you had to shut down but, please lighten up. Your response would make ones belly jiggle like a bowl full of jelly.

  • So, I guess belly dancers have no sense of humor.

  • Yeh Swamplot, get your damn facts straight. You call yourselves journalists?

  • Rowing Co. tax writeoff.

  • I prefer to do my rowing in my canoe. In water.

  • Is there a pole in there?

  • markd – No pole.

    Commonsense- some women have actually made careers as dancers and teachers after taking their first classes there. But most of us just enjoy dance for the same reason you enjoy any hobby – activity, fitness, friendship, etc.

    The founder of Sirrom was Pat Wright, a bellydancer. She invited all forms of dance, but she is, in fact, a bellydancer, and for decades 80% of the school’s classes were in bellydance. Since the studio was taken over by some of Pat’s former students, the drive has been towards greater diversity, and Pat Davis has taken a particularly keen interest in cultivating flamenco. I danced with the studio for nine years as a student, sometimes came out to the International Festival with them. I still have fond feelings about Sirrom. I don’t know quite why Pat put this foot forward when given the opportunity to talk about the school, but I wish everyone here could know what fun Sirrom is, and it’s hard to communicate that in followup to her somewhat raw anger.

    Anyway, the school still operates, albeit in a temporary location until a new one is discovered. They still have drum jams one Friday out of every month, and yes, they still teach bellydance, among other dances. Find their website if you’ve ever wanted to try doing something fun and new, or look up something near to you through HABDA – the Houston Area Bellydance Association.

  • One correction: I meant to say that Sirrom was eventually taken over by some of Pat’s teachers, not former students.

  • Could I please hire P.M. Davis to write hateful letters to my duly elected/or whatever politicians ? ? ?

  • the plague of the internet-reading things that you just click on without looking at the surrounding page to gain some context. Could be named “The Onion” Effect. I’m positive that if Patricia had poked around a bit before commenting she probably wouldn’t have had that attitude.

  • You sure, Amanda? One of the early comments in the thread called her profession and life’s passion useless. Not sure how you would take that if it was your work being labeled as such.

  • That space used to be a washateria before West U got uppity and the remodeled Randall’s wanted the lowly laundromat gone. The manager was a retired merchant marine, a Greek-American gentleman full of warmth, good humor and great stories.

  • I miss Sirroms. I live a block away and really enjoyed the Drum Jams. I used to walk down with a drum in one hand and beer in the other. I think Ken said the jam is on Wednesday’s now. I can’t make it now. I’m a drummer in a band and we have gigs on Wednesdays.

  • The person who needlessly said “don’t teach skills useful in real life” was two posts AFTER the comment attacking the reporter to “get his facts straight”. The repoter was just writing the news that is accurate: the place really was gutted out to the studs! What is offensive to dance about that? Evidently she did not know what the word gutted means and took it personally. I like the way Sihaya writes “raw anger”. Hmm, you think of dancers as fun, spiritual, artsy, mellow–but ouch, this one has hate in her!