Newthorpe teens chosen to represent England in Dance World Cup
A talented group of Newthorpe dancers have been selected to represent England in the world’s most prestigious dance competition.
Hannah Smith, Hannah Lovatt, Lily Yates and Leila Fletcher-Smith, all aged 15 and 16, have been chosen to fly the flag for Team England at the Dance World Cup 2021.
The ballerinas, who all train at the Katie Wright School of Dance in Newthorpe, will perform in the ‘junior ballet quartet’ section of the world championships, due to take place in Telford in August this year.
Coach Katie Stewart said the young dancers were selected to represent their country after sending in an audition video.
She said: “It is the most amazing news. Because it’s such a prestigious event, we didn’t know whether we’ve have much chance of getting in.
“But we thought we’d give it a go and then found out we’d been chosen last Saturday. I am so incredibly proud of them all.
“And after such a horrible year, it’s something to really look forward to.”
The Dance World Cup sees up to 120,000 competitors from 62 countries competing at their country qualifiers and at the world finals each year.
The event is seen as the greatest all-genre dance competition in the world for children and young adults.
The four teenagers have been training at the dance studio, based at the former Greasley Beauvale School, for most of their lives.
Katie added: “They’ve been dancing since they were about six or seven years old, ever since we opened nine years ago.
“Three of them will be leaving school soon after their exams and it’s nice they’ll be able to do this together and leave on a high note.”
Although dance has been made difficult by lockdown restrictions over the past 12 months, the group has managed to keep up with training on Zoom.
Katie said: “Over the last year, we’ve only had nine or ten weeks of actual face-to-face classes. The rest were all online. But they’ve done so well keeping up with it.”
The dancers are now looking for sponsorship from local businesses to help cover the competition costs.
Katie added: “We’re looking for about £400 for kit, costumes and entry fees. If anyone out there can help, please get in touch with the school.”