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

Leigha Baccas, 10, pictured in action at Koby Studio in Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme
Leigha Baccas, 10, pictured in action at Koby Studio in Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme

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

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.

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

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

The dance school had until this month to find a new space because its venue is being knocked down as part of a new development.

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

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.

Koby Studio in Mabgate, which is set for demolition.

Koby Studio in Mabgate, which is set for demolition.

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.

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

"It was the perfect space for Koby Studio."

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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.