Dance teacher in teenage sex probe

Probe: Dance instructor Chris Freeman has been arrested over allegations involving a teenage girl

Probe: Dance instructor Chris Freeman has been arrested over allegations involving a teenage girl

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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.

The 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.

She said: “We must stress that we are in no way linked with Dance Connection and do not know the previous owners or have any connections whatsoever.

“We have run our large Dance With Passion studio in Preston for three years and were contacted by the owner of the building who asked if we were interested in taking over the Chorley studio.

“As soon as we get the keys, the Dance Connection signs will be completely removed and we will be holding an open event on Saturday so that people can come and meet us and discuss which classes they are interested in.

“We want to re-open the dance school straight away so that we can continue the classes, and we see this as an opportunity for us to expand Dance With Passion.”

Shermayne, who has appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and was a resident dance teacher at Blackpool Tower, said a full programme of classes would be available.

She added: “We already have a championship ballroom team, cheerleaders and street dance group and we offer the highest standards at our school and teach all disciplines of dance.

“We organise massive dance events and want to offer a totally new package at the Friday Street dance studio and have a fantastic team of teachers.

“We want to fulfil all commitments and will cater for all ages and all styles of dancing. We are a completely different company to Dance Connection and this will be a complete re-launch of the dance studio.”

The opening event on Saturday will start at 6pm. For more details visit: www.dancewithpassion.co.uk