Friday was a day of celebration at Artistic Dance Unlimited as dancers of all ages packed into the new facility during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Gill Street studio.
Alette Chase and Ursala Margolis are the co-owners of the facility. “This is an exciting day for us. We’re so pleased all of our family and friends could be with us for our grand opening. We’ve expanded three times. We’re truly blessed,” Chase said.
Alette’s husband Derrick was on hand and beamed with pride at what his wife Allett and her partner Ursala had accomplished. “I’m very proud of her. It was a big warehouse,” he said.
Dave Margolis, Ursala’s husband, watched as she helped cut the ribbon opening the facility. “We’ve been married 13 years and dance has been a part of her life. She followed me to Johnson City, Baltimore, Raleigh and Knoxville. The growth in her personally and professionally has been phenomenal. I’m really so proud of both women,” he said.
Terri Barhams, chair of the Blount County Chamber Partnership, thanked the pair for being part of the chamber. “We appreciate the investment you’ve made with us and in this community. I’m so proud to be here and see how you’ve grown. It’s a great day. We congratulate you,” she said.
Alcoa City Councilman George Williams said the new studio adds to the quality of life in the community. “Think of all the young lives that will be touched,” he said.
Williams said the studio could be an additional resource for the Richard Williams Leadership Academy. The academy, named in honor of the late county commissioner and brother of George Williams, teaches leadership skills and other life lessons to area students. “We’ve been looking to add a dance and art component to the academy,” he said.
Patricia Chambers said her 14-year-old daughter Kira dances with A.D.U. “It’s good the children have a safe place to be. They can express themselves through dance,” Chambers said.
Alette Chase said the floors in several of the rooms have springs underneath the floors to better support the dancers when they’re landing.
Ursala Margolis said another feature of the new building is that bars are mounted on the walls. Before the bars dancers held onto had to be rolled out and weren’t in a fixed position.
Alette Chase said they were able to make it the dance studio they wanted. “It’s a dream come true. I have to pinch myself,” she said.
Ursala Margolis said they saw other studios and integrated ideas and features from those studios into the new ADU studio. Alette Chase said it took about six months to renovate the building.