A NEW HOME: Abby Wake in the new home of her Awake Studio.
A NEW HOME: Abby Wake in the new home of her Awake Studio. Jacob Carson

Big changes ahead for the Awake Studio

THERE are big moves on the horizon for Abby Wake and her Awake Studio, with a new space and extensive plans for this year.

Taking over the former Cosmic Cafe building on Lady Mary Tce, plans are in motion for an open day this weekend.

"I have just always loved this space,” Ms Wake said, noting the larger room allowed for a greater variety of activities and events than the Duke St location.

"It was a beautiful space to begin in - but what we wanted to do was expand.”

More than just a dance studio, Awake is positioning itself as a new and vital communal space for the Gympie community - particularly its young people.

Markets and live music performances are planned, as is a special session dedicated to local teenagers.

"It's called Teen Zone, which is on a Friday night,” Ms Wake said.

"They can come in with their computer, or play games - it's another place for them to go.”

Interestingly however, mobile phones won't be allowed, to promote communication away from a screen.

Presenting a safe, intimate space where members of the community can explore questions of identity and sense of self is a key goal for the new space, something Ms Wake takes very seriously.

The change in location also necessitated a change in approach to the Awake Studio as a business.

Professionalising hasn't been without growing pains either however.

"It's been hard because a couple of my teachers quit this week,” she said.

"Fortunately, and unfortunately with a studio like this there's a lot of emotion.”

While the sense of fun is something Ms Wake is determined to preserve, treating the business as a business is a major step.

Families will have an opportunity to find out just what the Awake Studio has planned this year when it opens its doors on Saturday from 9am.

The event is being designed as an introduction to the sessions the studio will be providing.

"We're not just about movement, we're trying to empower you to have a voice, where you can love your body” she said.

"It's not about dance, it's about bringing people together.”