THREE dance crews were today praised for doing Hartlepool proud after their performances on a world stage.
Ruff Diamond, Diamond Allstars and Nu Diamond all battled it out in the World Hip Hop Championships at the Red Rock Hotel, Las Vegas.
Choreographer Zac Healey told of his pride at the battling spirit of all three crews which are based at the Whitby Street South studio of the Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts.
The youngest crew was Nu Diamond, consisting of Jay Allan and Evan Vaughn, both nine, Yasmine Burnham, Ali Rasul and Khan Rasul, all 11, and Rachel Hanlon and Megan O’Connor, both 13.
“They were competing in the junior section where they placed 15th out of 26 crews.
Zac said: “They missed the semi final by three crews, even though we all thought they were a dead cert to make the semis. However, they danced really well.”
And the crew bettered last year’s placing in the world championships of Lil Diamondz, who finished 18th in the junior section last year, he said.
Diamond Allstars reached the semi-finals of the world championships.
The crew of Georgia Rowley, Paris Kennedy, Joel Copeman, and Charlie Eve, all 14, and Sam Appleyard and Atlanta Burgon, both 15, were placed 19th out of 43 crews.
Zac said: “Again they exceeded expectations as the majority had only just moved up from junior division. We were all very proud of them.”
The adult crew of Ruff Diamond, with a line-up of Zac Healey, 21, Jason Lund, 19, Ryan Wilson and Aaron Staunch, 18, Ryan Llewellyn and Lewis Cope, both 17, were competing in the division for the first time after moving up from the younger varsity section where they battled it out last year.
They made the semi-finals this year where they placed 27th out of 66 competing teams.
Zac said: “The standard in the adult division was just ridiculous.
“It felt like a disappointment after last years varsity result. But to beat almost 40 other crews in an amazing division is a huge achievement.”
He said Ruff Diamond was thought to be the youngest crew in the division, with three members still young enough to dance in the varsity class. Zac added: “We were proud of the way we danced and reaching the semi final.”