Rachel gets dancing after winning Echo cash
STREET dance guru Rachel Cole has dreamt of having her own studio since she was just seven years old.
Now, 22 years on, she has at last managed to realise her ambition.
The former Kingsmead School pupil, from Cheltenham, celebrated the opening of her new Dance-Tec base on Saturday.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Lansdown Industrial estate, it is the ideal place for up-and-coming dancers to hone their skills.
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The studio has been fitted out with a wooden floor and giant wall mirrors, perfect for the classes to try out their latest moves.
And Rachel, 29, was able to add the finishing touches to the room by installing a window, after she won £500 through the Echo's Cash 4 Clubs initiative.
"I am absolutely delighted to have got my own studio," she said. "It is a dream come true for me.
"I have wanted to be a dancer since I was little.
"Although previously I was an instructor at various rented venues in the area, I never had my own place.
"This gives me a permanent base to work from and hopefully Dance-Tec will grow from here.
"I was so pleased to win the Cash 4 Clubs money too.
"It was expensive to do the studio up so it just gave me enough to put in a window to add the final touch."
Rachel pumped £4,000 of her savings into transforming the former martial arts centre into a pristine, fit-for-purpose dance hall.
One of her grateful students, who studies art, has painted a colourful image of a dancer on one of the walls – adding a touch of panache to the premises.
She has already got around 200 people on the books.
It is not just youngsters wanting to try out the latest craze with people right across the age spectrum booking in for lessons.
And as well as street dance, and lyrical (like street dance but slower), she offers Zumba classes, adult dance lessons and pom-pom sessions for youngsters aged four and over.
"I will cater for people of any age or ability," she added.
"If you want to take dancing seriously we do competitions and I will push you as far as you want to go.
"But it's also great if you just want to come along, meet people and enjoy dancing for fun.
"I'm just delighted to have got my studio up and running and it's onwards and upwards from here."
For more information about Dance-Tec, contact Rachel on 07778 599670 or email email@example.com