Ruff Diamonds shine and impress judges at world hip hop finals

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A DANCE crew will return home tomorrow to a heroes’ welcome after storming to the finals of a world championships.

Ruff Diamond, from Hartlepool, were officially crowned one of the best hip hop crews on the planet early today after wowing the judges in the World Hip Hop Dance Championship at the Red Rock Hotel, in Las Vegas.

Despite coming up against 54 other crews, they battled through two rounds of competition to reach this morning’s finals – with the results announced in a tense finale at 7.30am today UK time.

Families back home were anxiously waiting for news of Ruff Diamond’s final placing after they stood seventh after the semi-final round of the Varsity section.

And while Ruff Diamond missed out on a top three spot – with a New Zealand crew crowned champions – they still impressed the judges and fans all across the world who watched the event live on the internet.

Val Armstrong, who runs the Whitby Street South studio where the crew is based and where they are trained by teacher Zac Healey, said the support messages from people in Hartlepool had been “unbelievable.”

“I am planning a homecoming for them tomorrow at 5pm outside the studio in Whitby Street South, and I want to invite everyone.”

She said she was hoping to have an open top bus tour from 6pm tomorrow for Ruff Diamond and their junior crew Lil Diamondz, which also qualified for the world event in the junior section.