Leeds dance school Koby Studio finds 'perfect' new space ahead of Mabgate site demolition

A dance group in Leeds is celebrating after finding a "perfect" new base ahead of its current site’s redevelopment.

Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 1:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 3:08 pm
Leigha Baccas, 10, pictured in action at Koby Studio in Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme

Koby Studio, which opened in Mabgate in October 2017 following the success of its creators’ not-for-profit Urban Dance Leeds movement, has become a community hub for youngsters from various backgrounds, their families and adults.

Michelle Moreno, who runs the studio, today said that a new space in Roseville Road, Sheepscar, has been found.

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Young dancers at Koby Dance Studio, Mabgate, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme.

Although formal documents need to be signed, she is hopeful about the location becoming Koby's new base.

Miss Moreno, 29, said she has been "overwhelmed" by the support of parents and members following the news that another location would need to be found.

She said: "Some people were saying, 'What will we do without Koby Studio? It's our happy space.

"Their friends of friends were talking about it and wanting to help out.

Koby Studio in Mabgate, which is set for demolition.

"One of the friends stumbled across this unit to let.

"It was the perfect space for Koby Studio."

They now want to imitate the Mabgate base's atmosphere at the new location, she said.

Miss Moreno, 29, of Ackworth in Wakefield, said: "Koby Studio right now is very urban looking, it's not a typical dance studio with colourful walls.

"We built it from the ground up."

She added: “This new space is very similar - it’s an empty warehouse, an absolute blank canvas.”

Koby was born out of the efforts of Urban Dance Leeds, a social enterprise set up by Miss Moreno and friends Sidney Raphael and Victor Amango.

The studio runs two classes per day for girls and boys aged between ages five and 15.

It performs at various competitions and events around Leeds, and showcases the young dancers’ amazing moves at schools and youth centres.

And it has also become a place of "escapism" for those such as young people with mental health problems and international students who are struggling while away from their native homes, said Miss Moreno.

A fashion show, which will not be in the usual catwalk style, is to be held in April to raise funds for the space but a date has not been confirmed.