Dancer shines on national stage

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A BUDDING star is full of cheer after winning a national competition.

Amy Cross, 13, was celebrating after winning the International Cheerleading Championships, held in Nottingham.

It was Amy’s first appearance at the competition and she performed in front of a crowd of almost 4,000 people against 50 other competitors.

But the English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College student did not let the occasion get to her and won the under-16 Jazz Solo category.

Amy, a year nine pupil, said: “It was a really big event, but I wasn’t nervous at all when I arrived, I was just looking forward to competing.

“I didn’t go expecting to win, I just thought I would do my best and see what came of it.

“But I was absolutely over the moon when I found out I had won it.”

Amy, who lives in Throston, with her mum Joanne, 40, and dad, Allan, 38, has two brothers Christopher Lutz, 19, and Nathan Cross, 10, and a step-sister, 18-year old Chloe Jackson.

Before she joined the Hartlepool Hawks Cheerleading Academy when it formed last year, she had only ever tried out the sport in school.

Amy added: “It has been brilliant since I joined the club, it’s really good fun and the practice is obviously paying off.

“Everyone was absolutely over the moon when I won the competition. When I got home my family threw a party for me to celebrate.”

Rebecca Taylor, the head coach of the Hartlepool Hawks, which practices at the Belle Vue Community Sports and Youth Centre and Brierton Sports Centre, went along to the competition with Amy.

Rebecca, 20, who is a student at Sunderland University, said: “I am so proud of Amy. For her to perform that well at such a big event in front of all of those people was brilliant.”

The club are now back in practice preparing for their next competition in Manchester.

For more information about the Hawks and how to get involved visit www.hawksacademy.co.uk