Hartlepool dancers dazzle judges and millions of ITV viewers on Britain's Got Talent

A Hartlepool dance troupe wowed the judges on Britain’s Got Talent, as well as a packed London Palladium and around 10million ITV viewers.

Thursday, 21st May 2020, 11:33 am

The group from Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts, based in Whitby Street South, put on a show-stopping performance under the name of VA Kidz. It was broadcast on Saturday night.

The 40-strong group, aged between seven and 19, had two minutes to impress Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, David Walliams and Alicia Dixon. They certainly succeeded.

Their interpretation of Alice and the White Rabbit, based on the story by Lewis Carroll, earned them a clean sweep of “yes-es” from the famous judges and keeps them in the competition. This puts them into the “deliberation stage” and possibly another TV appearance, this time live.

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Some of the troupe from VA Kidz before their show-stopping performance on Britain's Got Talent.

The school has been around since 1982. Val’s daughter Hollie-Sorelle choreographed the performance, which was also lauded for its stunning costumes of two Alices, the Rabbit, playing cards, Mad Hatter, Dormouse, cats, sinister trees and much more.

Incredibly, the show was put together in just two week, the time they were given between finding out they were performing and the audition.

Amanda Holden said: “The music was fantastic and I think the costumes were beautiful. The choreography was so lovely. A great audition, well done.”

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All four judges said "yes" without hesitation.

Although the troupe remain in the competition, Britain’s Got Talent has been seriously disrupted by coronavirus since their performance was recorded in January. The semi-finals are scheduled to be shown in the autumn.

School principal Val Armstrong said she is delighted by how the team performed and says the feedback has been ‘incredible’.

She said: “We didn’t have a great deal of rehearsal time. That was from finding out we’d made it to the judge’s panel. We had a day trip. We set out from Hartlepool early in the morning.

“Now they have to select who’ll be in the semi-finals.

VA Kidz are students of the Valerie Armstrong School of Performing Arts in Hartlepool.

“What they really like is creativity and imagination through dance. We’ve got a few things in mind.

“I’d like to say how proud I am of all of them. The feedback has been incredible. It shows the true meaning of a team effort, and that includes the parents and the costume makers.

“As you could see from their reactions, they absolutely loved it.”

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