Dance school’s founders are delighted with new rooms

Alex Wardle, from Lee-on-the-Solent, collapsed at home and tragically died in March 2016, aged 23. 

From left: Alex's father, Stephen Wardle, sister Gemma Wardle, Alex Wardle and his mother, Denise Wardle.

Gosport family to keep Alex’s legacy alive by taking part in Great South Run

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THE BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing might be making the headlines, but around here the spotlight is shining on a mother-and-daughter team who are dancing their way to business success.

Leigh and Alessandra Bushnell have been running Mandaleigh Dance School out of various community halls in the Fareham area for the past 35 years.

But now, thanks to the school’s continuing popularity with dancers of all ages, they have been able to open their very own studio.

The team has been busy renovating the school, including adding a floating floor to the main studio, and opened the school to pupils earlier this month.

Work has included renovating the exterior of the building as well as ensuring the interior is fit for the classes of dancers learning ballet, tap, modern, contemporary and street dance.

Leigh, founder and principal of the dance school said she was delighted about the new location.

Leigh said the school would now be able to offer new facilities to students which would only help their chances in competitions. She said: ‘We’re thrilled to be able to have a studio of our own for Mandaleigh after so long teaching in community halls and other venues around Fareham.

‘We’re very much looking forward to welcoming our pupils through its doors.

‘It will be so beneficial for our dancers to have access to proper facilities such as a barre and mirrors.

‘We are sure our already-successful performances at the annual arts awards, –which we take part in every year – will only achiever better and better results.’

Graeme Quar, founder of Fareham-based specialist commercial solicitors Graeme Quar and Co, helped the duo secure the lease on the new studio in Fareham’s West Street.

Mr Quar said: ‘Instructions such as this are always a pleasure, and I am looking forward to hearing about Leigh and Alessandra’s continued successes.’

Leigh said: ‘We must also say thank you to Graeme for helping us achieve our dream of having our own studio.’