Moving letter explains how sister of Rhyl dance teacher who died in car accident plans to honour his name
A moving letter to planners reveals how the sister of a dance teacher tragically killed in a car accident last year wants to open a charity in his name.
Natasha Cross formed Body Rock Dance Academy in Rhyl with her siblings James Agar-Leigh and Tara Leigh Nolan in 2012 and classes were based at Ysgol Llewelyn in the town.
Mr Agar-Leigh, 36 and a married former West End dancer, died on December 1 last year after his car crashed on the A55 near Northop.
Now Mrs Cross wants to honour her brother by naming a charity after him and moving their dance academy to the disused former Royal Naval Sports and Social Club on Wellington Road, Rhyl.
Plans have been lodged with Denbighshire council to change the use of the three-floor venue into a dance school with four studios, offices and conference room.
In her letter Ms Cross said: “We recently lost our brother, one of our teachers to a fatal car accident, he was well known within the area for his big heart and his amazing talent.
“He had a rough time growing up as he was gay, he struggled with bullying and went above and beyond to help any child he taught that he suspected was also suffering in school.
“We viewed this building on the November 22 and we sadly lost him on December 1.
“We want to open up the school in his name and form a charity from the location to help any of our local youth suffering with bullying or just not quite fitting in.”
Known as JJ to his friends, Mr Agar-Leigh won British and European freestyle competitions and studied dance at the Performers’ College, Basildon, where he graduated with a National Diploma in Musical Theatre and Dance, plus his teaching qualifications.
The tragedy spawned an outpouring of grief on social media for the well-known and popular teacher, with his mother Colette Leigh saying her “whole world crumbled” at the loss of her “precious” son.
In her letter Mrs Cross explains how the successful school had “outgrown” its current premises and had “never received complaints about noise or disturbance”.
Classes in the new premises would run between 4-9pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm on Saturdays, with the venue closed on Sundays.
The school runs classes in ballet, tap, modern, jazz, acrobatics, freestyle, hip hop, commercial and musical theatre.
Mrs Cross said the idea would bring a “positive opportunity to a deprived area for young children and youth”.
She added: “We have already been in talks with Father Charles from the Catholic church opposite, who seemed very keen for the project to go ahead.
“He thought it was fantastic for the local children and families. Our aim is to take the children off the streets and provide a hobby for them.”
By Jez Hemming – Local Democracy Reporter
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