The O'Grady Quinlan Academy of Irish Dance is stepping into a new training facility.
The dance academy is moving into a new 8,000-square-foot studio at 228 W. Canal St. in Easton that will help provide the services that dancers need when they train to compete on an international level.
Maureen O'Grady, who owns the business with partner Colleen Schroeder, said that while the studio will be the new home of the dance academy, the academy plans to keep open its other satellite locations. Its principal location was in Bethlehem.
“We now have locations in a lot of places from Allentown to Hatfield where we have studio space,” O'Grady said.
What those locations lacked was the space for the higher-level competitive dancers to get all of the practice they might need to compete on a national level.
“When you're competing at that level, you need to practice five, seven times a week, and you need room for practice and fitness,” she said.
The new studio has room for that higher level training, which has become a larger part of the growing business' repertoire while still having enough space for dancers of all other levels and children's lessons.
With the growth of the business, the academy now has six teachers, 17 solo competitors and one competing team that regularly will use the new facility and existing studio space, O'Grady said.
The school also trains beginners who are 4 and older.
A ribbon cutting is planned for 5:30 p.m. July 29 at the new studio.
For more information, call 484-241-7200.
Gross McGinley adds LGBT practice group
Gross McGinley LLP of Allentown launched a new LGBT practice group that focuses on serving the Lehigh Valley's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
Managing director Deborah Faulkinberry said with recent court cases and legislation giving that community expanded rights, it seemed to be the proper time to establish a dedicated practice group.
“With the ever-changing landscape in the LGBT community, their needs are a little more specific,” Faulkinberry said. “They haven't had so many rights in the past, but now that is opening up.”
Faulkinberry said eight attorneys in diverse fields of practice have received special training on needs specific to the LGBT community in areas such as adoption and surrogacy, divorce and custody, employment and housing discrimination, workplace benefits and policies, real estate, wills, trusts, estates, prenuptial and co-habitation agreements and name changes.
“By providing these tailored services to the community, we are fulfilling our mission to be the Lehigh Valley's trusted source for legal counsel,” said Malcolm J. Gross, founding partner of the firm and member of the LGBT Practice Group.
The office did reach out to representatives of the LGBT community for advice on how best to serve their needs and received help and training from the Pennsylvania Diversity Network.
Adrian Shanker, a noted LGBT leader in the Lehigh Valley, said such services were welcomed and needed.
“It's critical that LGBT community members have highly qualified, local attorneys who understand the unique legal issues LGBT people still unfortunately face. It's wonderful that Gross McGinley's attorneys can provide these important services,” Shanker said.
This isn't the first time the firm has gotten involved in issues supporting the LGBT community.
Gross served as local counsel pro bono for the City of Allentown in a major precedent-setting case in which the city changed its nondiscrimination ordinance to forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
In 2011, Gross was awarded the Lauren Giguere Award of Distinction by the Allentown Human Relations Commission.
Services now are available, although the firm plans to officially launch the availability of the practice group at Allentown's Pride in the Park in August, Faulkinberry said.
“We intend to have a presence and give mini-seminars on different issues. That will be our first big kickoff,” she said.
Microbrewery opening in Carbon County
Carbon County will be getting its first microbrewery with the opening of the Red Castle Brewpub & Wine Bar at the former Castle Grill in Lehighton on Aug. 1.
The bar features hand-craft microbrews as well as wine on tap, featuring wine from local wineries.
“We are excited to offer Carbon County locals and visitors a unique place to go to enjoy a variety of food and beverages,” said owner Frank “Frankie P.” Potoczak.
Keeping with the castle theme, the brews served have names such as White Knight, Dragon's Breath and Wicked Jester.
The restaurant will feature a mix of Eastern European cuisine and American fare as well as some original dishes.
The Red Castle Brewpub & Wine Bar is at 80 E. Bridge St. in Lehighton.
For more information, visit www.redcastlebrewery.com.
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