Jill’s dancing green army is on the hunt for top awards

Dancers from the Jill Cooper Academy
Dancers from the Jill Cooper Academy

THE green army is on the move - and they’re hoping to come back home to Hartlepool with a sackful of trophies.

A team of 13 students from the Jill Cooper Academy of Dance have headed to Blackpool for the North of England Championships.

They were among hundreds of dancers from all over the North who were due in Blackpool for the competition which started on Wednesday and runs until tomorrow.

There’s sections for seniors as well as infants and some of Jill’s younger competitors will be hoping to make it a great trip by landing top titles.

The event organised by the International Dance Teachers Association is held each year at the Norbreck Castle Hotel.

Four days of qualifying competitions are held before the best of the dancers compete in the finals on Sunday.

And with mums and dads there as well, it means the Jill Cooper contingency which has headed to Blackpool is 25-strong.

Gemma Fox is the spokesman for the dance school which is based in York Road in Hartlepool.

She said: “We have one senior down here and that is Charlotte Dickinson who is 15. As well as Charlotte, there are 12 infants competing.

“The children are really excited and really looking forward to it. We competed in this event for the first time last year but the little ones were really young. This is the first year where we are competing properly.”

Children aged from four to eight make up the bulk of the Jill Cooper contingency and Gemma added: “Everyone at the school is so close and it is nice to get away as a group. There are mums and dads with us as well and we stay at the Norbreck Castle Hotel. The kids are not fazed by the competition at all. They just see it as a fantastic holiday.”

The children from the Jill Cooper academy are known as the green army whenever they are on their travels.

“That’s what we are called whenever we go away,” said Gemma. “And this time, we have all got brand new rhinestone uniforms as well.”

She said the green army would be hoping to march away with titles at the five-day competition.