While The Academy of Classical Ballet has been comfortable in its new digs on Grenville Street for six months, director Kellie Fishwick-Roscoe felt it was time for the public to see inside the refurbished heritage building.
Originally the Manchester Unity Hall, home of the superbly-named Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, the building was constructed in 1886 and retains many of its original features, including a magnificent arched ceiling with carved timber supports and a period skylight.
Many in Ballarat will remember the premises as the home of a seemingly-endless closing down sale of Persian rugs, and Ms Fishwick-Roscoe says when she first saw the interior it did occur to her it was an Aladdin's cave in terms of what space was available to her.
It's now the 'Grenville Campus' of the academy, and extends the class space available to students, Ms Fishwick-Roscoe says.
"Royal South Street used this space, too," she says.
"We just love being here. We still operate out of no.1 Sturt Street where we've been for 10 years, but we wanted a bigger space and to stay in what we call the arts precinct and the cultural hub of Ballarat."
An extensive refit of the building in conjunction with heritage advisors has seen a dance surface laid on top of the original floorboards and ballet barres added to the sides of the main room, but the bones of the original hall are clearly visible.
Calling herself a 'Ballarat ballerina', Kellie Fishwick-Roscoe was invited by the legendary dancer Maina Gielgud to take classes with the Australian ballet. She has taught in Ballarat and elsewhere for over 25 years, and this is the 10th anniversary of her academy.
"To have this heritage-listed building as our home in our 10th year feels super-special," says Ms Fishwick-Roscoe.
"The heritage of ballet and the artform itself really matches the building. We've tried to establish ourselves not just as a dance school, but as a whole community environment."
"From the moment I actually walked in - I'd peeked in through the windows and thought it was too poky - I looked at it and said 'That's me, that's us.'"
The Academy of Classical Ballet was the winner of the 2019 Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Award.