About Denise Shubin
Denise Shubin was born in Philadelphia but raised in Southern California from the age of three. Despite her rather troubled childhood, (a family of origin that was way beyond dysfunctional) she never ceased dreaming about living the life of a dancer, the person she always saw herself doing and being in her rather vivid day dreams. The reality of her life, however, did not in any way support the idea that she could be, in actuality, the artist she believed she was in her soul.
As a teen-age mother, her daughter Tarra was born when Denise was but sixteen years old, life became completely about Denise raising and supporting the two of them on her own. Defying the stereotypes of teen-age mothers, she was anything but a burden on her family or society at large. She supported her family just fine.
While working as an outside sales rep for S. E. Rykoff & Co. she stumbled upon a small ballet studio that was located next to one of her accounts in the sleepy little town of Carlsbad, located in northern San Diego County. This was the studio of renowned ballet master, Victor Moreno, formerly a principal dancer with the famed Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Denise rented the studio for a few hours a week just to dance and practice on her own. Within a very short period of time she was \”discovered\” by Victor\’s partner, Lez Damaroff, a Russian ballet master. She was directed to Victor and the rest is history. Victor took her under his wing and within a few months she was a soloist in his company, The North County Ballet Co.
During this same period she met her husband to be, artist/engineer, Don Martinelli. They were married in May of 1980 and their daughter Gina was born in March of 1981. Feeling an inexplicable pull to the east coast, the family moved back to Denise\’s city of birth, Philadelphia, in the summer of 1982. About one year later, Victor Moreno moved to Philadelphia as well. Because of Victor\’s stellar resume he was hired to work for numerous ballet companies and schools throughout the Philadelphia region. Denise would take class wherever Victor taught and as a result, was invited to join a number of those companies including the Philadelphia Civic Ballet Company. Denise also performed in a professional partnership with noted ballroom dancer and teacher, Gene Russo. For the past nearly fourteen years, Denise has studied Flamenco dancing with the internationally renowned Flamenco dancer, Julia Lopez, and now performs with the Fiesta Flamenco Dance Troupe.
About the Shubin Theatre
While dancing with the Philadelphia Civic Ballet Co., Denise began to feel like she needed a lot more freedom with her dancing that could not be realized while dancing in someone else\’s company. She also wanted to do more with her singing, something else she had always loved to do. She and her husband, Don, were in a position to purchase their first family home and it occurred to Denise that there were store fronts all around Philadelphia with living space above the store. They searched around and found such a building just in the part of town that they wanted, the colorful South Street District known for it\’s Bohemian history and association with the arts. They moved into the building in the summer of 1986 and the first iteration of the Shubin Theatre opened in March of 1987, a combination art gallery and performance space. Over time the space evolved into a theatre presenting all manner of the performing arts.
Denise came to discover an opera singer living in her body and took up a serious study of voice. She now performs as a lyric soprano with a special passion for Puccini. She has also acted in many, many plays, both at her own theatre as well as with a number of other theatre companies. The Shubin theatre is now an extremely popular venue which houses countless independent artists and small theatre groups. It\’s excellent location and reasonable rental rates make this theatre a tremendously attractive option, intimate theatre at it\’s best.