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Author names Norfolk dance school one of best in world

PUBLISHED: 15:54 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:15 09 October 2019

Kim Ritchie owner of Centre Stage Studio in Thetford, at the Charles Burrell Centre, has been featured in a book celebrating successful dance studios around the world. Photo: Emily Thomson

Kim Ritchie owner of Centre Stage Studio in Thetford, at the Charles Burrell Centre, has been featured in a book celebrating successful dance studios around the world. Photo: Emily Thomson

Emily Thomson

From Norfolk to Australia, a town's dance school has been featured in a book celebrating the most successful studios from across the world.

Students at Centre Stage Studio in Thetford, at the Charles Burrell Centre. Photo: Kim RitchieStudents at Centre Stage Studio in Thetford, at the Charles Burrell Centre. Photo: Kim Ritchie

Dance Studio Secrets was launched in New York in July this year, by author and dance studio owner mentor, Clint Salter.

Mr Salter picked 22 dance schools from across the world as far as Australia, to feature in his book including Centre Stage school of dance from Thetford, based at the Charles Burrell Centre, to help tell the secrets of how to run a successful studio.

Named as the 'go-to dance studio' Centre Stage has just celebrated its 8th birthday and owner Kim Ritchie says it's incredible to have been chosen out of thousands of dance businesses.

Mrs Ritchie, 36, of Thrush Road, Attleborough, started teaching dance in Thetford in 2011 as an after school club while she taught at Drake Primary.

Students at Centre Stage Studio in Thetford, at the Charles Burrell Centre. Photo: Paulina NiebalaStudents at Centre Stage Studio in Thetford, at the Charles Burrell Centre. Photo: Paulina Niebala

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But after demand for her classes grew, Mrs Ritchie quit her job as a primary school teacher in 2014 and opened a studio at the Charles Burrell Centre, and since then her business has flourished.

Mrs Ritchie said: "I really wanted provide something for Thetford because I grew up in a similar place in a small town, with not a lot going on, and not a lot of opportunities.

"Today we have 200 students, five teachers including me, two studios spaces, we have just celebrated our eighth birthday in September and we have been featured in a book, which is amazing."

Students at Centre Stage Studio in Thetford, at the Charles Burrell Centre. Photo: Kim RitchieStudents at Centre Stage Studio in Thetford, at the Charles Burrell Centre. Photo: Kim Ritchie

The school offers classes in ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, acrobatic dance, singing, boogie bounce trampoline based exercise class, disco ducks and classes during the day for younger children.

As the only British studio owner in the book, Mrs Ritchie says she does not measure her success through money, or how many students they have, but the difference they make to their lives.

She said: "The whole reason I opened this school was so kids could have a place to express themselves, to make new friends, and a safe space with no judgement. It's not about being the best dancer or singer.

"We have six values we try to install into our classes including, honesty and integrity, joy, uniqueness, to be your best, kindness and perseverance and we reward our students based on those qualities."

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