A DANCE school is opening a second branch.

Elaine Pygall School of Dancing, based in Prudhoe, is starting classes in Hexham.

The associate school of the Royal Opera House celebrated 20 years in July last year.

Classes will begin in September in the Trinity Methodist Church Hall and include ballet, tap and freestyle sessions for KS1 and early years children.

The classes, initially on Wednesdays and Saturdays, will be led by Miss Natasha, the new branch manager, who is a qualified early years teacher, associate with the IDTA and a Royal Opera House Associate artist.

Principal Elaine said: "Natasha's been with me since she was 4, she's now 24. It was the right time because it was the right person to do it.

"We'd looked at a few areas and we felt there was a gap in the market with Hexham. We're familiar with Hexham because we do our shows there and we're going to go into schools and offer workshops."

The dance school is also part of a four-year Royal Opera House project, which sees Elaine partnered with Adderlane Academy and Natasha with Prudhoe West Academy to deliver weekly workshops to Year 3 children. The teachers have been going to London to learn skills and watch performances and rehearsals.

The children will perform at Dance City in May with Royal Ballet Company dancers as part of the project and two will be offered a bursary for free membership at the school for a year. 

Elaine explained: "It's given me a renewed energy, it's a fantastic opportunity for the school and children to be involved.

"The idea is that it's offering ballet to people who might not have otherwise been able to access that. It's the first time they've been to the Noth East.

"We've got three shows coming up across two days in June at the Queen's Hall, we're going to Disneyland in August- it's going to be a busy six months, but it's all really exciting."

Hexham class registrations are now open. 

Dancers can take part in shows, exams and community events. Acrobatic arts and pilates are also available.