Children cha cha’d the night away for charity - and proud parents turned up in their hundreds to watch it.
Shimmies, shakes and moves galore filled the Borough Hall in Hartlepool where an audience of 400 people watched the Strikly Salsa Kids event.
Pupils from 10 schools from the town showed off their very best moves in a sponsored competition organised by Carol Hammond, from the Carol Hammond Dance Studio, in Dalton Street, Hartlepool.
There was a trophy for the champions but the real winner was charity as the event raised money for Alice House Hospice in the town.
“The children were so excited,” said Carol. “The standard was excellent and the boys excelled with their shimmies.”
Carol added: “Following the success of the last inter-school team match, I had no choice but to follow it up with another, and what greater cause than Alice House Hospice.”
The parents and teachers cheered their children on all night and when it came to the final dance, the salsa, the cheers raised the roofCarol Hammond
Children danced in styles including the tango, quickstep, cha cha and salsa.
Carol said: “They started the night with a fun dance to Uptown Funk and finished with a fun dance to Shakey Shakey.
She held the competition with children because “it is important for them to understand how hospices work and the need to raise funds”.
The youngsters started by learning dance routines in their schools. Carol said: “After three months of teaching children in Years 4, 5 and some 6, I had the unenviable task of choosing five couples from each school.”
She described the live finale as an occasion the children will “remember for the rest of their lives”.
Another highlight of the night was students from Springwell School in Hartlepool who put on a demonstration of the dance moves they learned.
The total raised for charity is still to be finalised but the Strikly challenge saw Barnard Grove Primary School emerge as champions, with Lynnfield in second spot and Sacred Heart third.
Carol described the event as “absolutely fantastic. The Borough Hall was full to the rafters.
“The parents and teachers cheered their children on all night and when it came to the final dance, the salsa, the cheers raised the roof.”
And with other highlights such as demonstration dances from Hartlepool woman Adele Jang Don and her husband, Jang SeHyoung Don, everyone agreed the event was a winner.