No longer the underdogs

A dance crew from Hartlepool is facing a challenge with a difference as it looks to land a dream prize.

Ruff Diamond have been hailed as one of the acts to watch by the judges in this year’s Got To Dance competition on Sky 1 television.

But members of the street gang say they would prefer to be the underdogs and “slip under the radar”.

In the early stages of the contest – which carries a £250,000 top prize – judge Ashley Banjo said: “You’ve found the gem that is your style. These guys are going to cause serious problems on the shortlist, that’s all I’m saying.”

Fellow judge Kimberly Wyatt said: “Let me tell you, that was one of the best auditions that we have seen of this series.”

Ruff Diamond choreographer Zac Healey said all the success is adding to the pressure. “It feels as if there is a lot of hype around us. There is more added pressure. We quite like to go under the radar and we do better that way.”

But the six-man crew is coping by throwing themselves into perfecting their routine for their semi final which will be shown live on Sunday, March 10.

Zac said: “We travel down to London on March 8 and we will spend two days rehearsing.”

Then, it is onto the live stage on March 10. It will be down to the public to decide which acts go forward to the final.

People can vote for their favourites by watching the show, noting the details for the act they like and then registering them on the Got To Dance website.

And if Ruff Diamond make it through the semis, they will dance in the final to be screened live a week later on Sunday, March 17.

Ruff Diamond are the only North-East crew in the last 30.

A public vote will decide the 10 finalists who will fight for the coveted prize, in front of a 6,000-strong audience at Kensington Olympia, on March 17.