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Dancing for a Dream

Posted on July 3, 2019

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A gala in support of Dexter Summerscales-Heard, nephew of ballet dancer Laurretta Summerscales, will take place at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking on November 10.

A former principal at English National Ballet, Summerscales is now a principal with the Bavarian State Ballet in Munich. Dexter has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, epilepsy and other disabilities. The gala will feature international artists all willing to dance in aid of his cause.

Dancers include Aitor Arrieta, Begoña Cao, Katja Khaniukova, Alison Mcwhinney, Junor Souza from English National Ballet; Reece Clarke, Cesar Corrales and Fumi Kaneko from The Royal Ballet; Mathais Dingman, Brandon Lawrence, Delia Mathews and Yaoqiun Shang from Birmingham Royal Ballet; Yonah Acosta, Osiel Gouneo and Summerscales from the Bavarian State Ballet and María González from Company Wayne McGregor. They will perform a wide variety of repertoire, including works from George Balanchine, John Cranko, Kenneth MacMillan, Marius Petipa, Liam Scarlett, Christopher Wheeldon and more.

Dexter Summerscales-Heard. Photograph by Grahame Larter

All proceeds from the event will be used to pay for a special therapy for Dexter, who’s been in and out of hospital his whole life. Recently, he has been told it’s no longer safe for him to eat, as food is passing into his lungs; doctors have warned he could even drown in his own saliva.

The therapy, VitalStim, promises to restore his swallow reflex and allow him to take food orally again. VitalStim is only available in the US at a specialist centre for neuro-disability in the Napa Valley, California.

“This is why the gala has been created,” says Summerscales, “so money can be raised for him to travel there with his parents and undergo the necessary treatment. Please help support Dexter’s cause by buying tickets to watch a fantastic evening of entertainment, so he can realise his dream of being able to eat again, and have a good quality of life.”

To book tickets for Dancing for a Dream on November 10, click here or call 0844 871 7645. (Please note: fees apply and calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.)

Main image: Laurretta Summerscales. Photograph by Laurent Liotardo.

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