Sole City Dance began as Arts Rochester in April 1982.  The organization was founded by local arts supporters who joined together to raise funds to restore the Rochester Opera House by producing arts events and festivals in the city. Over the years, Arts Rochester evolved into a community theatre group, performing plays and musicals in local venues.

Meanwhile, in September 1991, Christine Hounsell formed Rochester Movement Arts, a dance studio which later expanded into Rochester Creative Arts Center and included fine arts, music and theater education programs.  In 2003, Rochester Creative Arts Center merged with the Arts Rochester, making it an all-around performing and fine arts education center. The organization moved into a new home in the Gonic Mill in the fall of 2004.

In May of 2006 and April 2007, two devastating floods did significant damage to the facility in Gonic.  Arts Rochester only survived due to the generosity of loyal supporters. The organization downsized and moved to the Rochester Community Center in September of 2007. In 2009, Arts Rochester adopted the new name of Sole City Dance to better describe its current dance-focused educational programming.