A new dance school is to open in the city centre with the aim of promoting mental health and well-being.
Kelly Nicol will be opening KK Cheer and Dance Empire, based at Step Up Dance Studios on Palmerston Road in Aberdeen, on Saturday, May 22.
The school will offer classes for children, adults and people with additional support needs.
Kelly, 36, says the main reason she decided to launch the school is down to wanting to “teach people new skills”.
She aims to have the well-being of students and their families at the heart of it, which will teach jazz, lyrical, hip hop, freestyle and Highland dancing.
Kelly, who is also a support and development service manager, said: “I want to offer additional requirements at my studio.
“Due to many changes in my life during the coronavirus lockdown, it made me re-evaluate my dreams and outcomes in my own life and what I can offer to others.
“I gave up dancing for about nine months last year and felt that a part of me was missing.
“I was totally lost and lost a part of me. However, I was reminded that I have a gift to share and not to waste it, so I found my passion again.
“The main focus of the KK Cheer and Dance Empire is back to basics. I want to coach and teach children and adults new skills and develop their well-being and resilience.
“You don’t have to be talented to dance, everyone can dance. It’s about boosting confidence and using the tools to do so.
“Everyone is welcome to the Empire Studios. Dance and cheer accept everyone. We have the tools to transfer skills to anyone that is looking to try something different or work on different areas.
“We are adaptable in our programs that are available.”
KK Cheer and Dance Empire is also available for hen and kids parties, first dance and wedding performances, private hires, and more.
Kelly, who has been dancing since the age of two, was inspired by her grandmother to pursue the sport.
She said: “I was taught in many genres of dance, from Highland and cheerleading to a soloist dancer, to dancing in teams. I won many championship awards.
“I performed in many amateur shows throughout Aberdeen, as well as choreographed shows for local theatre groups.
“I was also one of the original members of Redz & Co, who were the cheerleaders for Aberdeen Football Club. The team went on to compete in Florida at the World Dance Championships in 2007 and 2009.
“Most recently, I performed at the Grand Prix in 2019 as a mass production. I’m so glad I’ve since got back into dancing.
“Mental health is something very important to me through my own personal experiences. It is important for everyone to talk openly about this topic.
“I want to ensure that my pupils know they can speak out and that there are mental health first aiders available.
“At the school, we have a well-established, anti-bullying policy in place – not only for the pupils but for families that are part of the Empire. “Our motto is be happy, be kind, be true, be you.”
Classes at KK Cheer and Dance Empire will start on Monday, May 31.
A children’s summer camp will also be running for a week from Monday, June 28 during the summer holidays.
For more information on the school, visit the KK Cheer and Dance Empire Facebook page.