I have been having selfish thoughts lately. This is a blog about the Town Hall but I am going to talk about my dance school today, as its past and future are so intrinsically weaved together with the history and the renaissance of Porty Town Hall.
Way back in June 2019, Lothian Dance Academy had spent almost a year planning the bi-annual show that we have done for 32 years. The pupils had started learning the dances in January. Mums and Dads had bought tickets for themselves and grandparents, siblings and friends. Miss Ashley and Miss Sara had spent hours choosing themes and music then spending hours choreographing on their days off, before facing the classes and teaching to the pupils. Myself? I had started costuming at the beginning of the year. At first resurrecting old costumes, searching online for cheap ideas, but ultimately throwing caution to the wind, buying gorgeous tutus and glamorous glitzy costumes in online costume shops. No wonder our shows just break even. 🙄 Always been my downfall. I love buying costumes and seeing the delight on the dancers faces, its worth it. The show is a big event for everyone. The girls leaving to go to college or university get flowers presented onstage. Most of them will have been with us 13 years or more, and there are tears and black mascara, hugs and photos.
Imagine how we all felt when a few days after our main rehearsal but a few days before our second and final rehearsal, I got the worst phone call: an apologetic lady from the Council was saying that the hall was being closed for safety reasons!!! The show may have to be cancelled. Some paint flakes or plaster had fallen from ceiling and it didn’t look stable.
There were tears, there were tantrums and in the end the Council came through for us. They erected a special strong mesh above the stage and enabled the show to go on. I am so grateful the Council has a heart.
So! You are thinking, why is Morag feeling selfish? Well! I don’t suppose I am because I am thinking how to reward these pupils of ours, who have missed a show, missed exams, had dance lessons on zoom. Get made to wear masks in class etc, etc. Because of Covid, we missed out our 2021 show and we really need to do a show in 2022 to give the pupils something to work towards and to enjoy.
Would it not be marvellous to have been LAST OUT but FIRST IN. Depending on Covid 19 guidelines of course.
If things go as planned and the £350,000 from the Place Based Investment Programme (PBIP) makes safe the ceilings then this dream may become a reality.