KIC Dance founder Sharon Jones said her company has been “humbled” by the wide range of support for its plans to create a base in Midlothian. The company, which has around 1,000 members taking part in 50 classes a week across four venues, wants to create a full-time studio in the sports pavilion at Ironmills Road, Dalkeith.
And now the plans have been approved by Midlothian Council, paving the way for the studio to move forward.
KIC Dance, which was founded by Sharon in 1991, initially ran out of Lasswade High School Centre. It also delivers classes to an additional 500 students through 26 Active Schools sessions across Midlothian, a pre-school educational programme in nurseries and primary schools, provides national dance qualifications in secondary schools and offers dance therapy programmes.
During the coronavirus lock down the company has been running virtual classes through its Facebook page as well as taking part in classes at Midlothian’s Learning Hubs where children of key workers are being looked after.
Midlothian Council leader Councillor Derek Milligan (Lab) gave his support to the planning application telling planners: “KIC Dance offers an extremely wide range of opportunities to the people of Midlothian and should be supported to continue their great work. I have no hesitation in supporting their bid.”
Bonnyrigg Rose Football Club also offered their support, with club development manager Trish Sime sending a letter backing the application.
She said: “KIC supports kids/families through difficult challenges and periods in life and they have had representation at every mental health session we have run with the club.
“The impact of not having KIC in the local community would be disastrous.
“The club hopes to have a long, successful partnership working with KIC.”
Letters of support were also received from teachers working in Active Schools programmes and health and wellbeing across the county.
Donna Thomson, deputy headteacher of Saltersgate School in Dalkeith, which supports pupils with additional support needs, said the dance company had shown a real commitment to people in Midlothian.
She said: “They have thoroughly enriched the lives and educational experiences of all of the learners they have worked with so far in Saltersgate.”
Sharon said the key to the success of her company was the close-knit team of teachers, assistants and volunteers involved. She said a permanent base would allow the team to deliver dance and provide a “safe space” for dance therapy workshop.
Speaking when the application was under consideration, Sharon said: “We were extremely proud and humbled by the support our application received from a wide range of individuals and organisations and it is testament to the hard work and enthusiasm of all the people who contribute to amazing story that is KIC.”