Gymnastic fantastic

Sam Barras, whose mother is the Murray Street based dance teacher, Debbie Barras, trains for his gymnastics in the dance studio, where the ceiling is to be strengthened to allow for gymnastics rings and other equipment to be fiited on the first floor.
Sam Barras, whose mother is the Murray Street based dance teacher, Debbie Barras, trains for his gymnastics in the dance studio, where the ceiling is to be strengthened to allow for gymnastics rings and other equipment to be fiited on the first floor.

BUILDERS will be bending over backwards as plans get underway to provide gymnastics facilities at a popular dance studio.

Hot on the heels of the success of Team GB’s awe-inspiring gymnasts, the Debbie Barrass Academy of Performing Arts, in Murray Street, Hartlepool, is gearing up for plans to make way for the sport.

The organisation moved into its current premises in 2008 and over the coming weeks, alterations will be made to the ceiling of the ground floor.

The current ceiling will be taken out and then replaced with a reinforced one, to withstand gymnastics activity on the upper floor.

The school has already had success with its acrobatics provisions, including with twins Beth and Emily Moorby, who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2010 and impressed Simon Cowell with their contortionist skills when they were then 13. Now bosses hope to build on their success by adding gymnastics to the academy’s repertoire.

Academy principal Debbie Barrass said exciting times were ahead for the studio and its dancers.

She added: “Builders will be going in this week to pull the ceiling down and then reinforcing it for gymnastics.

“We are dead hot on acrobatics, but gymnastics has really taken off, and it’s got even more popular since Team GB did so well in the Olympics.

“The Moorby twins are still training hard in acrobatics, but they are also learning gymnastics with me.

“We have already got crash mats and gymnastics rings and the building work should take a couple of weeks.

“This will be another string to our bow.

“It would have cost thousands of pounds but we have been given help by family members who are in the building trade.”

She said the ceiling in the dance room downstairs would be replaced and the upstairs floor strengthened due to increased gymnast activity.