OWNERS of a dance and fancy dress shop are 'gracefully' retiring after 13 years.

Anwyn Hemming and partner Jeremy took over Maskerades in Albert Street Llandudno, in 2006.

The shop, which hosts dance and fitness classes and has sold dance wear to the masses over the years including leotards, skirts and shoes for ballet, tap and modern, ballroom and Latin, was founded by Anwyn’s best friend Gwyneth Roberts in the 80s.

Gwyneth, a dancer, started the shop on Oxford Road before moving to Albert Street.

When Gwyneth died, Anwyn and Jeremy took over the business alongside daughter Gillian.

Anwyn, who has lived in Llandudno for more than 30 years, said: "We had recently started to think about retirement, for a number of reasons. Jeremy is continuing to work, but we are planning a trip to Australia to visit my son. Between us we have five grandchildren, so most of our time will be spent enjoying and watching them grow."

Speaking about some of the highlights over the years, Anwyn added: "The Extravaganza is always a highlight, seeing our costumes on parade and the general buzz in town that it brings.

"Best memories come from the end of year dance shows, held by most of the local dance schools at various local venues, and seeing how the local dancers have developed over the years with many going on to dance as a career."

At one stage, Maskerades held more than 400 fancy dress costumes. Over the years this number has dropped due to online shopping.

Maskerades is being taken over by Ellie Montanaro, 32, who runs Forza Studios of the Performing Arts in Llandudno.

The professionally trainer dancer, who trained at Merseyside Dance and Drama Centre in Musical Theatre and gained her teaching qualification through the Imperial Society for the teachers of dance, has worked on cruise ships and started Forza in 2016 with just five students.

The former Ysgol Aberconwy pupil, who lives in Glan Conwy, will rebrand the building as Lemon Studios Dance and Fitness.

"I've known Maskerades since I was a child. I've taken classes there and it is where I had my first pair of dance shoes at the age of two,"

"We have plans for a second studio to maximise the people able to hire it out. I want to create a modern feel with all the facilities that you can get in larger city studios such as Manchester, Liverpool and London as I feel there are so many talented dancers and performers in North Wales that would benefit from great facilities.

"The shop will sell dancewear, as that’s the world I know best, and the studios alongside that."

Forza classes - currently taught on Builder Street - will eventually move to Ellie's new premises.

"I would like to thank Anwyn and Jeremy for trusting me with the business," Ellie added.

"I would also like to say thank you for all the years they’ve provided a great place for dancers and performers.

"I hope I can carry on the great legacy they’re leaving me."

Anwyn added: "We believe Ellie has the passion to take the business to another stage of its life and cant wait to see what she has in store."

The last working day of Maskerades will be Saturday, March 30. The studio will continue with its current timetable.

Ellie will take over from April 8.