This was always my dream. Sprung floors, mirrored studios ..... instead of carting sound equipment around from venue to venue, working on floors that were frequently unsuitable and freedom from double booked halls. I wanted to have a huge variety of styles on the timetable and it was definitely geared towards the adult population. Being a late starter to dance myself, I knew what dance could do for people's confidence, social life and general well being and I wanted classes that would be accessible even to the ones who protested they had 2 left feet.

Christmas Eve turned out not to be the best time to get started! Everything was shut and ordering flooring and materials took forever.

We had our first event there a few days later when we invited some friends to come and celebrate,... we danced around in studio 2 with the wind whistling through the windows and calor gas fires for heating plus a floor with a fabulous camber in it (the whole thing rising towards the cetre pillar) - even our dog Dylan joined in spinning around trying to catch his tail. It was Freezing but a great celebration.

Work was done to a huge extent by ourselves and friends and family. Right down to the sprung floor in Studio 1, which Alexis designed from drawings from a Dance Brochure showing different types of floors. Every board is screwed in place - back breaking work but worth all the effort.

Before the studios we ran classes from different venues and when we bought the building people from classes came in to help us paint and clean the place which had been used for a variety of purposes over the years.

All the windows had to be replaced - at one point we had to barricade one of them up to stop it collapsing into the studio in high winds.We got the floor finished in Studio 1, got the mirrors up and held our first class there in March 2004. To begin with I was teaching all the adult and kids streetdance & Jazz and Alexis covered the Salsa classes (as well as all our outreach work in schools & colleges).

After the summer  Lorna Cochrane started to teach Flamenco for us and we were joined by Chris Maule and Stevie Sinclair teaching Breakin & Joanie Ward teaching Bellydance ... and so the timetable grew. Gradually we were able to drop our outreach work and concentrate on working in the studios and took on other teachers to expand the timetable. We really wanted to provide as wide a variety of styles as possible. We were donated a temporary floor for Studio 2 and once we finally moved the cafe downstairs we replaced the odd collection of mirrors we had in S2 with brand new ones.

Well, it's a bit like the Forth Road Bridge and now we find ourselves going back over things to repair and improve but we've also embarked on a new floor for Studio 2 ... so watch this space. It's been difficult to make a lot of changes when the studios were so busy, but we really want to improve changing facilities, install showers and open up that 3rd studio on ground right ... and so it goes on!

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