Devastated kids fight to save their dance school after community centre closes

Girls from The MK School of Dance have nowhere to practice after the Swan Street centre closed down.
Girls from The MK School of Dance have nowhere to practice after the Swan Street centre closed down.
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DESPERATE dancers are trying to revive the community centre where they practised.

The Swan Street Centre, in Monkwearmouth, closed on Friday after running out of cash, leaving a host of organisations without a home.

Children from The MK School of Dance feared they might be forced to miss upcoming competitions, or see the club fold altogether.

But now the youngsters are rallying round in a bid to raise cash to get the centre going again, backed by friends Kylie Henderson, 28, and Amanda Woodhouse, 31, both from Southwick, who ran the dance school.

Kyle said: “We have come up with solutions to raise money and try and keep it open, and said maybe the members who rent rooms could try and promote it.

“We asked if we could have a couple of months to get things back up track.”

Disappointed Mel Taylor, 30, said she did not want to send eight-year-old daughter Lucy to another dance school.

“It has just been up and running over a year, and we found out just before Christmas that the centre was going to close.

“They were supposed to be practising for a competition at St Chad’s, in Durham Road, between dance schools in Sunderland.

“If they can’t find anywhere then they can’t practice.

“It is a bit sad really and I feel so sorry for the dance teachers.”

Among those also hit by the centre’s closure are a football club for toddlers, run by not-for-profit organisation North East Sport, and group of artists who met there.

The decision by Wearmouth Community Development Trust to close the Swan Street Centre has left three workers out of a job.

The group accepted it would “have a massive impact on the young people in the area,” but that they were left with no choice.

Director June Robinson, from Fulwell, said: “We have tried every viable option and alternative, and unfortunately the board of directors has had to decided we can’t continue.

“We have insufficient income to cover the costs of the centre, so we have to close our doors.”

Anyone who can offer the dance school a new home should email Kylie at

Twitter: @janethejourno