Simply the best in the country

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WHAT a performance that was!

The students of the Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts are celebrating after putting in a phenomenal performance at a national competition.

Thirty six dance schools took part in the British Championships which were held at Blackpool.

But it was the students from Val’s academy, which is based in Whitby Street South in Hartlepool, that took home the title of Best School in Britain, winning a shield for gaining the most points.

But dance school owner Val Armstrong said the success did not end there.

She added: “We had fifty semi-finalists. We also had 18 finalists and two new champions.”

Proud Val, who has been in the dance business for more than 30 years, hailed the performance as “Amazing results”.

Val has enjoyed huge success this year.

Niamh Owen, 16, represented the school in the finals of the Miss Dance competition at the Winter Gardens, in Blackpool, in June.

Val’s Whitby Street South premises also provided part of the professional cabaret for the evening when Ruff Diamond entertained.

In another success, Niamh also won the County Durham heat of Miss Dance, which was held at Chester-le-Street in County Durham.

Earlier in the year, the school celebrated having six dance champions.

Mia Gordon, 12, won the Northern Star Junior Modern Championship and more titles were added when Val’s students competed at The Northern Counties Dance Teachers’ Association Easter festival.

Mia Sadler, aged eight, won a title at the Cleveland Juvenile Tap Dancing Championship, and Emily Ridden, 15, lifted the NCDTA senior modern championships title ahead of 40 rivals at the competition in the Customs House, South Shields.

Other recent winners from the school included Jack Penfold, Tyler Usher and Ellie Griffiths.