The sister of a dance teacher killed in a road accident said a new dance school and charity will “carry on his final dream” and let them “live it for him”.

Natasha Cross was speaking after Denbighshire council approved plans to turn the former Royal Naval Sports and Social Club on Wellington Road in Rhyl into a dance school.

Body Rock Dance Academy was started in 2012 by Tara Leigh Nolan,  before siblings James Agar-Leigh and Natasha Cross moved back to the area to help with the classes based at Ysgol Llewelyn in Rhyl.

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.

Known as JJ to his friends, he was a champion dancer who graduated with a National Diploma in Musical Theatre and Dance.

He had been involved in the plans to move their dance academy to the disused former sports and social club.

He didn’t live to see them realised, but proposals were submitted last month and included changing the use of the three-floor venue into a dance school with four studios, offices and conference room.

With planning consent now granted for the change of use from licensed premises, Mrs Cross spoke to the Local Democracy Reporting Service about her brother.

She said: “My brother was the most loving, gentle person and he had absolute hell growing up.

“It wasn’t until he was older he came out, but he was bullied when he was younger just for being a dancer.

“Since losing him, we found out how much he used to help children and we were none the wiser.

“He took his role for the kids very seriously.  He adored all of the children – he was amazing.

“He was just a beautiful person. We all lived in each others’ pockets.”

His generosity of spirit is something the family want to replicate.

JJ’s parents Colette and James Leigh want to start a charity at the new venue for disenfranchised local youths, after finding out after his death how instrumental he’d been in the lives of other children.

Mrs Cross said: “My mum and dad strongly want to set up the charity in his name.

“It’s not just about sexuality, it’s for any children who struggle to fit in – it’s to carry on the work he did.

“Because of what he went through as a child, he naturally reached out. He did it so selflessly and made children feel good about themselves.

“Some have been hit really hard by his loss and that’s brought home what he did for them, without our knowledge.

“My mum just wants to carry on the work he was doing and create a safe place for children to come and feel accepted.”

Mrs Cross and her sister are hoping to exchange contracts on the former sports and social club within a week and take possession of the building, so work on getting it ready for post-lockdown can begin.

She revealed the choice of venue was no fluke either.

She said: “We grew up on Crescent Road, opposite the Catholic church, and JJ used to go to the Naval Club every Sunday with our nan.

“The very first Body Rock Christmas party was at the Naval – we’ve all been there.

“The Naval was part of our childhood.”

She added: “We desperately want to carry on his final dream and live it for him.”