Kylie Lavery always had the intention of returning to Ballarat. She just didn’t know when.
Mrs Lavery made the move back to her home town after studying and setting up a business in Melbourne.
Now Mrs Lavery, her husband Leon and daughters Klara, 2, and Addison, 6, live on a beautiful property in Magpie, on site with their school Dancemakers and function centre Allurah.
“It has been that full circle which is quite satisfying being able to come to where you’re from and share what you love and have been trained to do.”
The dancer travelled abroad after finishing school and studied at Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne.
She first established Dancemakers while living in Melbourne and commuted there after moving back to Ballarat. Then she faced the daunting task of re-establishing her business at home.
The couple jumped at the opportunity to buy their current property, the site of the old Timeless Timber Gallery.
“When we drove past here we always used to think ‘oh that is lovely, wouldn’t that be great’. Then it went up for sale and we took a gamble,” Mrs Lavery said.
“That’s when I made the decision to close the doors in Melbourne and start again, which was quite daunting, to know you have to start all over again.
“But the community here is just phenomenal. They really got behind us and supported us the whole way through,” Mrs Lavery said.
The school has grown to 180 students throughout the past five years operating out of an elegant studio in Magpie, running classes six days a week with eight teachers.
Dancing has been such a big part of my life. I love sharing that.Kylie Lavery
“It is such a wonderful release and creative outlet for children with so many problems nowadays. I feel like children have got a lot of stresses on their shoulders and they can come in here to a totally safe space and be free and enjoy that time away from things that are going on.”
The space is converted to a function centre of a weekend, hosting weddings, engagements and functions as Allurah, using Leon’s skills as a chef.
“It is amazing really. Sometimes you forget how much you have been through to get to this point. We have most weekends booked now,” Mrs Lavery said.
“It is a very fast turnaround. We get rid of anything that is dance related and set it up for whatever function it is. It is a crazy lifestyle. But we get better at it every week I think.”
Search @morethangold.ballaratstories on social media for more information on Committee for Ballarat’s More than Gold campaign. A book showcasing the stories of Ballarat will be launched on Tuesday.
YOU CAN FOLLOW OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE MAKING CHANGE IN BALLARAT IN OUR MORE THAN GOLD SERIES: