New Holy Cross dance studio named after popular caretaker

Sophie Johnson gets ready

Emily Spencer-Parris

Sophie Johnson in action

Sophie Johnson, centre, with Olivia Distefano, left, and Emily Spencer-Parris

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A NEW dance studio at Holy Cross College has been named in honour of a former caretaker.

The Holden Dance Studio has been named in memory of Andy Holden, who died suddenly at the age of 49 last November after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Mr Holden had been instrumental in the planning of the new studio, and staff members said they wanted to use this opportunity to create a permanent memorial to him.

Kathryn Maye-David, a dance teacher at the college on Manchester Road, said: “It was so tragic that we lost Andy and we thought it would be quite poignant to name it after him.

“Andy was the estates manager, so he liaised with the builders and architects and was involved right from the very beginning.”

The new air-conditioned studio boasts a fully springed professional floor, a lighting rig, mirrors and ballet barres, and will be used for classes, exams and small performances.

There is also adjoining changing rooms, a green room, costume store and dressing room.

The college currently has 25 students studying dance at A level, and staff hope that this new development will benefit future dance students as well as the current crop.

Mrs Maye-David added: “It is a really exciting development for us, because it is all state-of-the-art equipment, and it will help to promote dance to a whole new generation of stu-dents.”

One talented ballet student has already started to tiptoe his way to the top.

Josh Magnall, who joined the college last September, has successfully auditioned for the Northern Ballet School, and gained a scholarship at the prestigious Manchester school.

During his time at the college studying dance and intermediate ballet, along-side his other A levels, Josh appeared in a number of shows including ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, which the college performed for a six-show run at The Met in March.

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