Dancer ‘losing out’ due to council clash

Mark Simpson
Mark Simpson

A CLASH of dance classes has caused a row in Hemsworth.

Zumba teacher Mark Simpson stopped using the town council’s Bullenshaw Road community centre after finding a cheaper space elsewhere.

But he was shocked when the council decided to continue offering an alternative class at the same time on the same day.

Mr Simpson, 42, of Cambridge Street, South Elmsall, moved to the YMCA club, also on Bullenshaw Road, around 100 yards away – for half the price of the community centre.

He said: “I just couldn’t believe they had actually gone out and searched for someone to take over the class at the exact same time. And they were even offering the first class free.

“I just think it seems really petty and I feel quite bitter about it.”

He said he approached staff several weeks ago to tell them he would be leaving, and thought they had taken the news well.

He said: “If they had called and told me they didn’t want me to leave and asked me to stay, I would have done. But what they have done seems very childish. The class is my main source of income and I have worked hard at getting that group established. And it wouldn’t be a problem if it was a different time on a different day, but it’s the exactly the same.”

Chariman of Hemsworth Town Council, Tony Upson, said a zumba class had been running at the centre since last April, and was not solely Mr Simpson’s class.

He said: “Mr Simpson only began taking the class four weeks ago and last week he told us that he was leaving us to start to take a class at another location in Hemsworth, not only that but the class would be on the same day and at the same time.

“We wish Mr Simpson well in his new venture but he will need to build up his class the same way that we and everybody else has to when they start out in business.

“Zumba will continue to be held at Hemsworth Community Centre and as a gesture of thanks to our loyal clientele and any new ones that wanted to give it a try, last Tuesday’s class was provided free.”