A FAMILIAR face to dancers in Ilkeston and across the country has retired from her business after 30 years of serving the town.
Adrienne Loades, 62, has been at the helm of dancing supplies specialist Dance-Rite since she opened the business here in Ilkeston in 1982.
She has won a Pride in Erewash Good Town Trader Award a staggering five years in a row – a testament to her customer service skills which have seen the business thrive.
The entrepreneurial grandmother and mother of two national ballroom dancing champions set up shop in Northgate Street originally.
“I saw there was a call for somewhere to sell dance clothing and equipment – a niche if you like – in Ilkeston,” she explained.
“I have always danced and so have both my children and the nearest place to buy dance equipment was right over the other side of Nottingham.”
The business later moved to Nottingham Road before settling in its current location in Queens Street.
About 80 per cent of Adrienne’s business comes from outside Ilkeston – as far as Skegness and Chesterfield.
Over the years, she said there have been many changes to the business.
“To start with it was more about children dancing and entering competitions,” she said.
“Nowadays it verges more on the social side – mostly adults who dance as a hobby.”
Son James, 38, and his wife Susan will now take on the reins of the family business. James has more than 20 years of competitive ballroom dancing experience, having represented England.
“I think I will miss it after 30 years,” said Adrienne, “I’ve had such loyal customers who have kept coming back for 20 or so years, some of them.
“It’s a big part of my life that’s gone.”
She said she will be in the shop occasionally to help out but will be focusing on spending time with her grandchildren.