Fourth birthday celebrated in style by the girls in green

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TALENTED students helped their dance school owner to celebrate four years in business.

And they did it by giving top-class performances at a competition which attracted hundreds of students.

Delighted Jill Cooper could not have been prouder as her Hartlepool students - who are known wherever they go as the green army - fared admirably at the North of England Championships in Blackpool.

And to top it all, they even presented Jill with a birthday cake and presents to mark the fourth anniversary of the Jill Cooper Academy of Dance which is based in York Road in Hartlepool.

Gemma Fox is the spokesman for the dance school.

She said: “The girls did fantastically well. Charlotte Godfrey made it through to the final heat of the juvenile tap section and was fifth overall out of nearly 100 entrants.

“She is only seven years old and there are definitely big things in store for such a talented little dancer.”

Gemma added: “Lily Stevens also did the green army proud making it through to the semi final in the juvenile modern section with a brand new routine.”

She said Lily performed the routine called The Fly and “was amazing”.

Another great performance came from Charlotte Dickinson, 15, who reached the semi-final in the senior modern section.

Hers was “a beautiful twilight routine. She looked absolutely stunning on stage,” said Gemma.

She added: “All of the 13 girls competing from Jill Coopers really did us proud.”

Jill herself also had praise for her students. She said: “For some of the youngest competitors this was there first ever experience of a championships and I am sure this will inspire them to get better and better. Bring on Blackpool 2014.”

The event organised by the International Dance Teachers Association is held each year at the Norbreck Castle Hotel.

Four days of qualifying competitions were held before the best of the dancers competed in the finals on Sunday of last week.

The Jill Cooper contingency which has headed to Blackpool was 25-strong, including mums and dads.