Dance teacher arrested on child sex claims

A Chorley dance teacher has been arrested on child sex claims.

Chris Freeman, who is believed to have owned Dance Connection, in Friday Street, has been arrested over allegations involving a teenage girl.

He was arrested on Christmas Eve by police officers and bailed until March 1.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "We can confirm that a 58-year-old Chorley man was arrested on December 24 on suspicion of engaging in non-penetratitive sexual activity with a teenager."

The allegations have shocked the dancing community. Mr Freeman has represented England in dance competitions and has won countless titles across the country.

He won the British Championship for four years in a row before he turned professional after first taking up dance lessons more than 30 years ago.

Dance Connection, which he ran for more than a decade with his partner Gaynor, is believed to have closed on Friday.

The Guardian visited the premises on Monday but there was no sign or explanation for the closure.

Tho phone numbers on the company website rang out when called.

However the studio, which is also open for functions, is now set to be taken over by new owners who have no connection with Mr Freeman.

Shermayne Parkinson, who already owns Dance with Passion, in Preston, said she had been approached by the landlord of the building to take on the dance studio after the previous occupants left.

* christopher.maguire@lep.co.uk