Zac hopes for a diamond result at Carl Allan Awards

Rough Diamond: From left, Lewis Cope, Ryan Llewellyn, Ryan Wilson, Jason Lund, Aaron Staunch and Zac Healey.
Rough Diamond: From left, Lewis Cope, Ryan Llewellyn, Ryan Wilson, Jason Lund, Aaron Staunch and Zac Healey.

Hartlepool man Zac Healey is in the running for double honours at one of the most prestigious nights in the dance world.

Zac has been shortlisted in two different categories of the Carl Allan Awards, which are held each year in Blackpool and are only given to people who have made a significant contribution to the dance industry.

Previous winners have included Jennifer Ellison, Roy Castle, Darcey Bussell, and Arlene Phillips. Zac, who won the performers award category two years ago, is back in the hunt once more.

He has been nominated in the young performer and the choreographer categories of the event on October 10 at the White Tower Restaurant Complex.

The awards were first introduced in 1953 by Eric Morley and are held in hugely high regard in the dancing world. Previous guests have included the Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal family.

Other notable winners have included Wayne Sleep, who was brought up in Hartlepool, in the same year that Len Goodman was honoured for his exceptional contribution to dance. And former winners have also included Freda Compton.

Zac’s shortlisting is in honour of his achievements as a teacher, performer and choreographer with Ruff Diamond.

He runs the hugely successful Urban Rockz academy, which is based in Whitby Street South at the same venue as the Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts, run by Zac’s mum Val Armstrong.

This has been a huge year for Urban Rockz. The academy competed in the UK Championships at Portsmouth’s Mountbatten Centre. Three crews were represented.

Killin It, which has seven members aged 10 to 12, placed third in the junior division.

Ruff Diamond, whose members are aged 17 to 25, were first in the adult section.

And the 26 members of the Urban Rockz Dance Academy, aged from 11 to 26, were placed first in the Megacrew division. Individually, Thomas Armstrong won the locking battle and is now UK locking champion and Zac and Ryan Llewellyn were the champions in the 2on2 competition. Urban Rockz also won the Nation’s Best Dance School Award.

Ruff Diamond then went on to reach the later stages of the World Hip Hop Dance Championships held at the Harrah’sresort in San Diego, California.

Proud mum Val said: “He is always so dedicated and passionate towards his work and his professionalism is amazing. I am really proud of him.”