Lucky 13 for talented dancer Emily

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THIRTEEN years of dancing has certainly proved to be lucky for talented Hartlepool teenager Emily Ridden.

The dedicated 15-year-old lifted the Northern Counties Dance Teachers’ Association senior modern championships title against competitors from all over the region.

And she did it ahead of more than 40 rivals at the competition which was held in the Customs House, at South Shields. But this has not been Emily’s only success.

The week before that, she won the tap tests contests which was held at the same venue.

And Emily’s success did not end there. Emily also finished a creditable third at yet another contest. On top of all that, she also recently won the Freda Compton Star of the Future award.

Her family and dance school teachers say her success is reward for her dedication.

Emily, who lives in Seaton Carew, has been dancing since she was only two years old.

She is a student of the Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts based, in Whitby Street South, in Hartlepool.

Proud mum Paula Ridden, 42, said: “Emily is at the dance school practising seven days a week. When she entered this competition, she was up against 40 other people in her category and she won the Freda Compton award as well.”

She said her daughter’s progression during her time with Val Armstrong had been “unbelievable”.

Paula praised Val for the way she had worked with Emily, and added: “She has been fantastic with Emily. She must have seen some potential.

“And even though I can’t be there for all of Emily’s competitions, Val and the other parents have been amazing.”

Dance school owner Val Armstrong said: “I am extremely proud of Emily. I feel sure that she has a bright future ahead of her.”