'They're off to the World Cup' - The Hartlepool dancers who have been chosen to represent England
On top of the world! That’s the huge contingency of Hartlepool youngsters who have been chosen to represent their country.
The Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts, which is based in Hartlepool, has been selected to represent England at the Dance World Cup.
And that means more than 50 dancers aged from 6 upwards will be heading south to Telford for the prestigious competition which is expected to last almost two weeks.
Val Armstrong runs the studio where the team is based and praised everyone from the parents to the children themselves for their support and dedication.
The Hartlepool dancers had been chosen after a difficult year and a half where almost all their training has had to be done online, said Val.
She added: “They are representing Team England on August 9 for one week.
"With everything that is going on, we were not entirely sure whether the event was going ahead but we have had the heads up to say it is,
"The children are now in intense training and we want to say thank you for everyone’s support.”
The event was due to be held in Spain but is now being held at the Telford International Centre, said Val.
She added: “To get the event under way is an achievement,” she added.
There are more than 50 children representing Team England from the Val Armstrong studio.
Fundraising for the trip is still “going strong", said Val.
Find out more at the school’s Facebook page at Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts.
Competitors who are aged from 6 to 20 will be doing Hartlepool proud at the prestigious event.
Val, who also has studious in South Shields and Middlesbrough, added: “It has been quite a challenging time for all of the dance schools and dance teachers.
"Most of the training over the last 18 months has been done online so it has been a huge achievement for us to pull this together. We have been training solidly for the past couple of weeks and everyone is really rallying round,
"The support from the faculty, the parents and the children has been incredible so I am immensely proud of everyone.
"Hopefully we will do the North East proud and bring home some gold medals.”