Time to slow tempo says dance ace Nick

Last waltz: Nick Atack
Last waltz: Nick Atack

A Garstang dance teacher who set up one of Lancashire’s longest running schools has retired after more than 30 years.

Nick Atack has given up his leading role in Dancers, Preston, which he founded in 1979.

But the business will live on, in the hands of one of Nick’s own former pupils.

But far from hanging up his dance shoes Nick, 69, who launched Dancers in Avenham Sttreet with his wife Carol, is planning to keep dance on, but restrict his teaching to a few private lessons.

He said: “I used to work 90 hours a week in those days, and until recently I’ve still been teaching five nights a week – six if we had a function on at weekend. The trouble is that now I’m beginning to feel the strain of it all.

But Nick, who lives in Garstang, is confident that his protege, Peter Ronson, will continue the good work with Dancers. Peter, who learned how to dance with Nick in the 1970s, has already stepped in to take over the business, which is now based at Preston Grasshoppers.

An accountant by day, Peter, of Ash Coppice, Lea. is looking forward to teaching people from all over Lancashire.

But he never imagined he would eventually take over. He said: “I’ve been with Dancers for 40 years, so this is a bit like mum and dad retiring and me taking over the family business.

“When I started I was assisting with classes, then I began to teach children and give occasional private lessons.”

More recently, Peter has stepped in to take over when Nick and Carol have been on holiday.

In the last six or seven years he has also set up his own adult ballroom and Latin American class, which he now runs each Thursday at Grimsargh Community Centre.

Many who attend started as raw beginners but have progressed to take medals.

Nick said: “I shall miss it, I’m sure. But my wife’s going to drag me away from it.

“Peter’s been with me for years and I’m sure he’ll do well. It will just be a case of another captain at the helm.”

At its peak Dancers had more than 5,000 members and offered classes both in Preston and Leyland.