The night that Allison Cox found out her daughter’s local dance studio was closing, she told her husband, “I either need to buy a bus, or open a dance studio here in Haliburton County. Either way, these kids needed to stay together.”
Cox said she instinctively knew she could lead a project to create a new dance studio – dubbed Skyline Dance Studio – and was pretty sure there would be “immense” support to keep dance local.
“So far, the support has far exceeded my greatest hope,” she said.
Haliburton Dance Academy closed its doors in June after 10 years in Haliburton County.
Cox said Skyline Dance Studio is not affiliated with any dance studios but is an independent not-for-profit organization, “with a huge vision to create an inclusive safe space for all dancers in Haliburton County.”
She said she worked very closely with the Haliburton County Development Corporation to review the business options and ultimately decided on a not-for-profit for two reasons. “We want everything we pour into this studio to be reinvested in the studio and we want to be sure this is a legacy that can be carried on for years to come. It will evolve and grow as the board of directors transitions throughout the years. It will truly be a community-run operation.”
Right now, they have a working board of eight local women. They include: Cox, Sarah Garbutt, Dawn Hurd, Courtney Bishop, Victoria Bullock, Stacey Parish, Stef Wood and Melissa Valentini.
Some own and run businesses, some work in non-profits, some are employed by local businesses, and many have experience sitting on other not-for-profit boards in the Highlands, Cox said.
“It is a great blend of experience coming together with passion and dedication to accomplish this goal. Beyond this group, we have dozens of community members, individuals, and businesses, that have offered support with time, money and materials.”
Skyline Dance Studio will be located at 229 Highland St., between Castle Antiques and Pet Valu.
They move in on Aug. 1 and construction crews expect the renovations to take six to eight weeks. Their classes will start in October 2022.
“It is a fantastic space and will have three large studios and a variety of common spaces for dancers and their families,” Cox said.
“We are doing this for our community, and the families of Haliburton County. Dance is so important for kids, not only is it good for physical, emotional, and intellectual wellbeing, but it also creates amazing friendships and instills a sense of community that will last a lifetime.”
Pre-registration is open. Email info@ skylinedancestudio.ca to be added to the list. Audition dates will be released soon and registration will open in August.