Dance school finds new home

New site has Footloose feel

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 06:40 11/02/2013
Dean McKerras Dance School
ROBERT KITCHIN/Fairfax NZ
Jazz dancers Alice Boyd 12, left, Neve Murphy 12, and Ella Marshall at the new dance school.

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New mirrors, floors and a lick of fresh paint have transformed a mechanic’s garage in Palmerston North into a dance studio worthy of Footloose.

Dean McKerras has moved his dance operation to the corner of Campbell and Featherston streets after almost two decades at its original spot.

The Dean McKerras School of Dance had been at Ngata St for 18 years, but with rent growing steeper  in recent times Mr McKerras decided it was cheaper to buy a space.

It took him almost nine months to find the ideal location – but it was well worth the wait, he said.

The building had been used as a mechanic’s garage.

It possesses a filmic quality – celebrated dance films including Flashdance, Tap Dogs and perhaps most famously Footloose, all have dance scenes in industrial warehouses and Mr McKerras thinks his new three-studio premises fits the bill.

‘‘There was grease and oil in every crack and crevice in the place.

‘‘I knew it was never going to look perfect but it had some heart and soul and it was just what I was after.’’

New flooring and full-length mirrors have since been installed and senior dance students volunteered their time during the holidays to help clean and paint the new studio.

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- Manawatu Standard

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