Tucson Creative Dance Center

Tucson Creative Dance Center

Barbara Mettler built the Tucson Creative Dance Center in 1963 as a permanent home for Mettler Studios. It included not only the studio building, which was designed by John H. Howe of Frank Lloyd Wright’s group Taliesin West, but also a dance lawn, and a “third acre” of natural desert flora. Upon Mettler death in 2002 the property was willed to The Nature Conservancy, which built an office complex on the “third acre” that architecturally complements the studio building. Mettler Studios continues to maintain the dance studio space for its classes and projects in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy.


I looked everywhere for a building which I could transform into a dance studio but I found nothing suitable, so I decided to build my own.

-from Dance as an Element of Life by Barbara Mettler

The art of body movement is three dimensional and should not be conceived as a two-dimensional framed picture. It is a kinesthetic experience which would be beautiful from any angle. A circular dancing area is best for both dancers and spectators because it gives the movement freedom in all directions and offers spectators the greatest possible involvement in the movement experience.

-from The Nature of Dance by Barbara Mettler
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