A dance crew has arrived in the USA to challenge the world.
Hartlepool-based Ruff Diamond are taking part in the World Hip Hop Dance Championships at the Harrah’s resort in San Diego, California.
The crew flew out earlier this week and they are already working hard to perfect their routines before their first performance early tomorrow.
The crew’s choreographer is Zac Healey, who runs the Urban Rockz dance academy, based in Whitby Street South in Hartlepool.
He told how the crew was delighted to be back on the world stage after taking a year out last year.
He said: “We love this competition. It changed all our lives five years ago in 2010 and made us the dancers we are today.
“All we want to do is go over, compete against the absolute best in the world again and show people how much we have improved in two years.”
Seven of the crew – Zac, Ryan Llewellyn, Charlie Eve, Sam Appleyard, Thomas Armstrong, Rob Law and Tom Malone – are competing in the USA.
Ruff Diamond has a history of success in competition. In 2013, they were runners-up in the Sky 1 competition Got To Dance. Weeks later they picked up a special recognition honour at a Hartlepool Mail awards.
The crew were crowned UK adult hip hop champions and came 16th in the World Hip Hop Championships in Las Vegas.
Zac’s proud mum, Val Armstrong who runs the Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts in Hartlepool, said: “They have been training for a couple of days and it has been pretty intense. ”