Berkhamsted centre’s plea for more help for young dancers

A PROJECT that supports young dancers is at risk of closure unless money can be found to keep it open.

The Espinosa Dance Project was set up by Corinna Chute in January to give dancers, mostly in their teens or early 20s, a break into the profession.

Yat-Sen Chang, a principal dancer for the English National Ballet for 18 years, has trained them for free since then.

His trainees perform with world-class dancers at the Espinosa Chute Centre in Northbridge Road, Berkhamsted, every three months or so.

Corinna said: “Our plans are developing all the time and there is a huge amount of potential, but there is still the hard reality of finance.

“Yat-Sen Chang has put a huge amount of his personal resources into this and we need to appoint him as an official artistic director with a salary.

“This can only be done if the sales from the tickets, and donations and support comes from the local community.”

She said during an Espinosa show for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Berkhamsted, town mayor Ron Cowie told her he had heard nothing about Espinosa.

“It was then that we realised how secret it all is,” she said.

“Berkhamsted just does not know what it’s got. You have got world-class performers in this beautiful little nook of Dacorum and I do not think people even realise how special it is.

“You would not find this anywhere else in the country at that level. You have got the West End here in Berkhamsted. We could match it at any level.”

> The next Espinosa Dance Project show is at the centre on Saturday and Sunday, July 28 to 29. Call 01442 818282 to buy tickets or ask for more information about how to donate to the project.