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Aspire Dance Company from Tonbridge appeals for help after £12,000 worth of costumes ruined

A Tonbridge dance company is appealing for donations after £12,000 worth of costumes were found to be ruined the night before a show.

Members of Aspire, a not-for-profit organisation which provides lessons for disadvantaged youngsters, were horrified when they discovered their outfits had been destroyed when they went to pick them up last night.

They had been left at the Angel Centre in Angel Lane, Tonbridge, following a show there at Christmas.

Aspire Dance Company
Aspire Dance Company

Zoe Russell, who set up Aspire, said 50 costumes had been spoiled with rat droppings and urine. Some had also been chewed through.

The 27-year-old said: "We are extremely upset and I've had some of the children in tears.

"They were beautiful lyrical dresses and tutus as well as boxes of leotards and ballet shoes, all ruined.

"The children have been working so hard all week and were going from strength to strength when this happened."

"It meant a lot to them to have their own costumes because they are underprivileged children" - founder Zoe Russell

Aspire is due to hold a show at K College in Brook Street at 6.30pm today, showcasing solos from each of the 30 young dancers which have been training with the dance company all week.

Children aged between four and 16 will perform.

Miss Russell added: "It meant a lot to them to have their own costumes because they are underprivileged children.

"Now lots of them will have to share and we have got one girl using tap shoes in the wrong size because we don't have any that fit her.

"The company is paid for through fundraising and through my work at a cafe so we have limited money to buy new costumes."

If you can help Aspire, email aspiredanceacademy@outlook.com

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