New year, new home! (14/01/2019)

Its been a whirlwind Christmas as we put every spare hour into converting an office space into a fully functioning dance studio complete with sprung floor, waiting area and harlequin flooring specifically designed for ballet and tap!

From the Northern Echo and the Darlington and Stockton Times:

A DANCER who took the plunge to open her own school for children and adults has found a new premises that will hopefully see her business grow.

Charlotte Porter, originally from Reeth, near Richmond, established the Charlotte Jacqueline School of Dance in September 2017, giving classes in Richmond’s Operatic Society hall and scout hut.

But she has now moved into a new home at The Station, Richmond, which incorporates a studio, office and welcome space that she has been able to make her own. She said: “After training in dance I worked away in France and around the UK but I wanted to come home for a bit more job security.

“After a change in management at my previous job I thought, why not take the plunge? I’d always wanted to have my own dance school so the time seemed right.

“My initial goal was to have three classes and I needed three children in each class in order to pay the bills. For the first couple of months I had six children per class and it slowly grew to 11 classes.

“I got a lot of help and support – my mum Margaret is an accountant and she has done my accounts for me. Starting out in business, I just had to learn as I went along. I had always been looking for my own premises, that had been the goal since day one.

“I saw the space at The Station in Richmond and went to see it, and knew it was perfect. From 11 classes I now have 30, including ballet, tap and modern theatre for adults and children, so it came at the right time.

“I moved in over the Christmas period so was really thankful to James Dixon who did my joinery, and Brian Gilroy who did the flooring for me very quickly.”

Miss Porter also visits care homes in the area to give seated dance tuition to residents, and will soon be offering seated dance at the studio in association with Age UK. She volunteers her time and the small charge goes back into resources for the class.

She said her new home at The Station seems to be mutually beneficial – she brings in regular trade to the café restaurant below the studio, and parents like that they can enjoy a coffee while they wait for dance classes.

Manager of The Station Eileen Halliday said: "Charlotte is a very welcome addition to the building as the dance studio complements The Station as a centre for the arts."

Students at Charlotte Jacqueline School of Dance will be performing in their first show, Jukebox, at The Forum, Northallerton, on Saturday, June 22.

Miss Porter said: “Everyone who wants to be in it is, and we are all really excited about it. Tickets will be on sale from The Forum soon.”

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