Incredible haul of trophies for The Dance Complex in Carluke
and live on Freeview channel 276
The Dance Complex, run by teachers Natalie McNulty and Joanne Wylie, has been a fixture in the town for more than 20 years.
But when Natalie qualified as a freestyle teacher and associate member of the British Association of Dance, she joined her former teacher Joanne and they rebranded the school.
Dancers aged from four to 19 regularly train as part of the school’s competitive freestyle team; there is also an under fours class for wee ones keen to learn.
Classes are held on Tuesdays in St John’s Church Hall from 4pm to 7.30pm and Shine’s Lighthouse Studios in Castlehill Industrial Estate on Fridays from 4pm to 7pm. Natalie and Joanne also offer private lessons.
Their young charges compete all over the country in freestyle competitions.
On January 13 and 14, they didn’t have far to travel when they attended the Going For Gold National Championships at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility in Wishaw.
Perhaps it was just as well they didn't have far to travel – for the dancers came home with an incredible 103 trophies under their belts!
Natalie said: “There were schools from all over Scotland so we were delighted to have 25 fast qualifiers and 26 slow qualifiers. In the grand final, we had 20 slow dancers and 19 fast.
“Most of the dances were solos but there were also a number of duets. We ended up with eight winners, seven runners up and six top three positions – winning a total of 103 trophies!
“Joanne and I were delighted, as were their parents – they did The Dance Complex, themselves and their town proud.”
The freestyle competition team are out on the road most weekends, attending events all over the country.
In March they’ll also be heading down to Sunderland and in September they’re looking forward to a competition...in Ibiza!
While Joanne and Natalie love seeing their dancers succeed, they also get the opportunity to watch them blossom.
Natalie explained: “We're obviously delighted with our team’s success – it’s lovely to see their hard work pay off.
“However, one of the nicest things about teaching young dancers is seeing their confidence grow.
“Often, they’re shy when they start out on the team but we get to see them coming out of their shells.
“Firm friendships are also made as the dancers buddy up; it’s like having an extra family as they spend so much time together.”
The annual awards ceremony will be held on March 16 this year and the dancers get a chance to show off their skills to a local audience in December, when the Christmas floor show is staged.
Natalie added: “Freestyle is gynmastics based so dancers build up a lot of stamina and flexibility as they go through the gradings.
“Being in competitions also gives the dancers a chance to develop their team working skills.”
The Dance Complex has gone from strength to strength since its rebrand.
However, there are still opportunities for youngsters who want to join.
There are four different bandings to ensure dancers of all abilities have the chance to shine – beginners, starters, intermediate and champions.
And with classes held on the doorstep here in Carluke, there’s not too far to travel for parents either.
With competitions almost every weekend, it also gives the dancers a chance to shine on a variety of performance stages.
Anyone interested in finding out more should visit www.facebook.com/TheDanceComplex22 or _thedancecomplex_ the group’s Instagram page.