Edmonds Dance Centre: Family studio inspiring generations of dancers finds new home in Bramley

A popular family-run dance school has found a new home in west Leeds.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 4:45 pm
Pictured Karen and Andrew Edmonds with daughter Nicola Cockroft. Picture Tony Johnson
Pictured Karen and Andrew Edmonds with daughter Nicola Cockroft. Picture Tony Johnson

Edmonds Dance Centre has opened up a new studio in Bramley, after transforming part of the Co-op building in Swinnow Lane.

The popular dance school was first founded by couple Karen and Andrew Edmonds in 1992.

Now the couple co-own the business with daughter Nicola Cockroft, who began dance training with her parents aged two before turning professional at 17.

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Edmonds Dance Centre founded by couple Karen and Andrew Edmonds with daughter Nicola Cockroft has found a new home in Swinnow Lane. Picture Tony Johnson

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic saw the family look at moving from their previous site in Burley, where they have been based for more than a decade.

Nicola, 35, from Robin Hood, said: “Originally we hired venues, and then when I turned professional and there were three of us teaching we needed a little bit more space so that's when we got our first venue in Kirkstall Road.

“We were actually there for 13 years but came across part of the Co-op building which was to let.

“I think it had been dis-used for a couple of years, and it was an absolute mess but we thought 'this is our next venture’.”

What the site looked like before the renovation.

The family were handed the keys in late June and began working on a huge renovation project, with help from friends and Nicola’s husband Karl, who she has been with for 12 years.

Nicola said: “It took quite a few months due to Covid and management issues but we got the keys in June and we've done a really big transformation

“We just ripped everything out and it's all brand new and plastered and we also got a suspended ceiling put in.

“I’ve always wanted a space that looks really nice from the outside, and I had a dream in my head of all the stars in the sign and what I wanted it to look like - and we’ve achieved that now.”

Nicola and husband Karl's daughter Amelia, aged four, is already following in her family's footsteps and won her first competition in February.

People in Bramley have already shown an interest in the studio, with people going up to have a look around and ask questions during the building works.

Nicola, who is mum to Joshua, seven, and Amelia, four, said: “We've seemed to have a positive response, with lots of people stopping to look in through the glass and saying 'ooh I didn't really there was a dance centre here'.

“The new main front doors didn’t go in for a few weeks, so we saw a lot of people coming up to the doors when we've been going in and out asking what was going on.

"People seem excited.

“We're hoping that it is going to help the community in Bramley.

“We've all had it really bad during the pandemic, mental health wise and then we know the rise of obesity in children is a little bit worrying, so we're hoping for the area that it will be really good.”

The studio is now open and accepting new students.

Nicola, whose daughter Amelia is following in her dance footsteps winning her first competition in February, hopes that the studio can inspire the next generation of dancers, or help people make lifelong friends.

She said: “We've always prided ourselves on being a family run business and caring about our students.

“Dance brings back a lot of memories for people, even if they don't go on to be professional dancers like some of our students too.

“We are like a family and we do have a lot of people that make lifelong friends, which is so nice.

“We're really pleased with the location and it's nice to have with it being such a rubbish year, with many businesses still not open in theatre and the arts.

"It's been so hard for a lot of businesses and we feel so lucky to be open, excited for the new venture and to meet all the new people in Bramley.“

Address: The Edmonds Dance Centre, Shopping Centre, Swinnow Ln, Leeds LS13 4RJ