Ariel takes the old-school plunge
Ariel Middlemiss will be dancing to her own tune from now on.
The Tawa 24-year-old has taught at two of the five dance schools in the suburb, and has now established her own dance school.
In a move that has a touch of nostalgia, Middlemiss has set up in Redwood Hall, in Redwood Ave.
‘‘I started out dancing here when I was about 3, and did my first choreography and teaching in this hall, so it’s a place with really good memories,’’ she said. ‘‘I’m lucky to have such a great space to set up and call home.’’
Middlemiss has eight years’ teaching experience and not surprisingly registrations for her Dance Collective have come in steadily.
She said she wasn’t worried about the high number of dance schools in the area already – as well as two down the road in Porirua – because each school would have its own philosophies and teaching styles.
Middlemiss will offer dance classes for preschoolers and young people – including jazz, contemporary, ballet and hip-hop – as well as an adult dance fit programme, and has made her prices competitive.
She will operate from Redwood Hall on Tuesday and Friday nights, and Saturday mornings, but is prepared to run her school six days a week if the need is there.
‘‘I’ve been in this long enough to know what people want, and I’m confident I’ll fit in.
‘‘I’m starting pretty small, and I’m realistic. But you have to start somewhere. Sometimes you sit back and ask if you’re doing the right thing, but you need to back yourself at crucial times.’’
Middlemiss, who also teaches dance at Tawa Intermediate and works at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua, said she hoped to forge a connection between her dance school and her dance company, which has appeared at the last two Fringe Festivals.
‘‘I’m always thinking about things I can be doing with the dance company, but the school is my main concern now.’’
She said setting up at Redwood Hall was a family effort, with her boyfriend and her family helping with designing, accounting and even some good old heavy lifting.
See amdc.co.nz for details.
Ariel Middlemiss has set up a dance school in the hall where she learnt to dance.