Looking for a Venue for the First Class

The Dance Studio, Huddersfield Leisure Centre
(c) 2018 Jane Elizabeth Lambert: all rights reserved

I should like to thank everybody who has responded positively to my proposal for an amateur ballet company in the North on the lines of Essex's Chelmsford Ballet and Cornwall's Duchy Ballet. I have received offers of support and encouragement from all parts of the North of England and beyond.  The first expression of support actually came from Budapest in Hungary.

I now have a clear mandate to arrange the first class in a location that is no more than an hour away by road or public transport from any address in Greater Manchester and West and South Yorkshire. I think that place has to be Huddersfield as it is on the main line between Leeds and Manchester and not far from the M62. It is linked to Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield  by the M1 and there is a direct train from Sheffield which stops at Barnsley.

I have therefore spent the afternoon looking for suitable venues with good parking that are within walking distance of Huddersfield rail and bus stations.  I have shortlisted three possibilities and visited two.  These are HD1 Dance, Huddersfield Leisure Centre and the University. 

The nearest and most convenient studio is HD1 Dance which is next door to a car park and  a few minutes walk from the railway station. They have three studios one of which could take 12 dancers, another 15 and the third 25.  The main problem is that Sunday is the only day of the week on which they can let a studio to me and that may not be convenient for our teacher and dancers.  Also, not all the walls have fixed barres. Yet another disadvantage for some is that the studio is located in an old industrial unit with steep and narrow staircases.  Not the smartest of locations but it is well maintained the floor seems to be well sprung. I have danced in far worse.

The next closest to the station with acres of parking is the Huddersfield Leisure Centre .  As you can see from the above photo the Centre can offer a massive room with a fixed barre along part of a wall and a well sprung floor.  The Centre can also let it to us on a Saturday morning.  Unfortunately the barre does not extend along the other 3½ walls and when I asked whether the Centre had any travelling barres I was asked what they were.  In America one can hire travelling barres but I am not sure that one can here - or, at least, not in Huddersfield. Maybe I can persuade someone to lend us some.

The only venue that I could not reach today was the University.  However, I know the studio very well as I attended class there for several years,  You can get some idea of the studio from the photo in which Amelia Sierevogel appears in Introducing Amelia Sierevogel 22 March 2017 Terpsichore   The studio is  at least 10 minutes walk from the station and it is easy to get lost.  Also, it is necessary to negotiate a busy dual carriageway to reach the campus. There is no parking on campus but there are two multi-storeys on the other side of the street.  The studio is located in the basement of the students' union down two flights of stairs and past a couple of squash courts. There are no fixed barres but there are several sets of travelling barres.  Also, the changing rooms are clean and spacious and provide cubicles for privacy.  I was unable to get any details about rates or availability but I will contact the University again after the vacation.

Anyone wishing to discuss this article or Powerhouse Ballet in general should call me on 07966 373922 during normal working hours or send me a message through my contact form.


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