The owners at Allegro Music & Dance Academy set out to celebrate the expansion of their building during a two-day grand re-opening event and open house on March 10 and March 11.
The program was meant not only to highlight new programming through live demonstrations, but also to commemorate the business’ 55th year serving the Lockport community.
“I want to thank Tim [Veurink] and Lori [Gardner] for two things, one is your faithfulness to your business,” Mayor Steve Streit said. “You’ve done this for so many years and just keeping true to your vision is a huge thing. To watch folks take a business all the way from where you guys had it all the way to where it is today is an inspiration. It really is. I enjoy that very much watching small business [grow].”
Co-owner Tim Veurink said celebrating this occasion brings great meaning.
“We’re very excited about the dance and theater dreams being made here,” he said.
Gardner shared that sentiment.
“For me, it always has been about these people [we serve],” she said. “You are what it makes truly awesome for us to keep doing what we’re doing.”
Gardner said later during an interview the expansion allows them to extend additional program offerings they’d previously not offered.
“The downstairs hasn’t changed all that much in terms of space,” she said. “We added a couple of lesson rooms, but not that much. Adding the upstairs allows us to do musical theater, allows us to do summer camps, allows to do the dance program.”
In total, the expansion adds 2,000 square feet to the 2,000-square-foot building they initially used to house their academy.
Gardner said the idea of opening up their academy for demonstrations made sense because it’s not always easy to tell what it feels like “to have a guitar in your hands and understand what making that sound is like; it’s a cool opportunity.”
Gardner added that she hopes students who drop in with their parents come away interested in what the academy can offer.
“We’ve already added quite a few students even though it’s been three weeks only,” Gardner said. “It’s other people in the community had not come here for anything. That’s been really interesting a big surprise to me. It tells me that there are more things that people want to be able to do than just music, and I think that will just make it a bigger home for us.”
Since February, Allegro Music & Dance Academy has enrolled 75 new students.
Gardner said the expansion shows the academy’s continued commitment to serving the community.
“We always held off on it because we felt like it was already well served,” she said, noting that there are other studios within a two-to-three-mile radius. “I think that people are excited about the fact that we do all things here and under one roof.”
Gardner credits the academy’s success to knowing when to move in the direction that matches the community.
“I think the longevity of this place contributes to it,” she said. “However, it seems to me like an important piece of it is growing beyond just music.”
“Lockport is growing and the community is growing,” Gardner said. ‘The appreciation for the arts is growing, and we’re just growing right along with it.”
Gardner said they like to think the Allegro Academy provides an experience that is unparalleled.
“We like to think we have the small-town vibe here, but big-city quality in terms of what we’re offering,” Gardner said.