A DANCE school is in line for a busy weekend at the prestigious national finals of a competition.
The Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts will be represented at the Miss Dance finals which will be held at the Winter Gardens, in Blackpool, tomorrow.
Talented student Niamh Owen, 16, fought her way through to the finals by being one of a handful of competitors to win a UK heat of the International Dance Teachers Association contest.
She will compete in the finals, which are a sellout – with 3,000 people expected to attend.
Val said: “Niamh will be one of the youngest there at 16, but she is training really hard and doing both extra tuition and extra training.
“I am very proud of her, as I am of all my students.”
Niamh’s mum Barbara Owen said: “Niamh has only recently turned 16. She was 15 when she won her heat, and I was very proud because she was one of the younger ones. There are some amazing dancers there.”
Niamh won the County Durham heat of Miss Dance, which was held at Chester-le-Street.
Miss Dance of Great Britain finals also includes the boys competition, Dance Master UK.
And as well as having Niamh in the competition, Val’s Whitby Street South premises are also providing part of the professional cabaret for the evening.
The dance crew Ruff Diamond will be the professional crew giving a performance at the event.
Ruff Diamond enjoyed a fantastic year last year when they were runners-up in the Sky 1 competition Got To Dance.
They were also crowned UK adult hip hop champions, and followed that up by coming 16th in the World Hip Hop Championships, in Las Vegas.
They won the Inspire category at the Hartlepool Mail Sports Awards, and crew choreographer Zac Healey won the choreographer’s category in the Carl Allan Awards.