NORTHERN Rivers dancers have use of a refurbished dance studio at Lismore City Hall.

Lismore Mayor Jennie Dowell and Labor MP Janelle Saffin visited the studio yesterday, which was upgraded with a $200,000 grant from the Federal Government Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program.

The studio, used by NORPA as its main performance and rehearsing venue, now has an asbestos-free ceiling, new flooring, airconditioning and performing equipment.

Although no performances were listed in the official program of the ceremony, Ms Saffin could not resist lifting a leg to the bar and showing off some ballet moves.

NORPA artistic director and chief executive Julian Louis said the space was now perfect for creating, rehearsing and performing new shows.

Mr Louis said his four-year-old daughter, Tobiyah, asked for ballet classes after visiting the studio.

"I don't aspire for her to be a performer, but I do hope for her to be social, to build confidence and to understand teamwork and work ethic, and you get that from dance classes," he said.

Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell said the improvements made the hall a better venue for NORPA.

"This dance studio adds to the ability of NORPA to generate their own work in a properly designed art studio that is also available for other dance groups to practice, rehearse and train," Cr Dowell said.

Ms Saffin said the project was identified by the Federal Government as important for the "health, equity and social fabric of the community".



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