Dance champs hit the streets

UDO World Street Dance Championships at Blackpool's Winter Gardens
UDO World Street Dance Championships at Blackpool's Winter Gardens
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THERE were baggy trousers, baseball caps, acrobatics and some seriously breathtaking dance moves as the UDO World Street Dance championships hit Blackpool.

Now in its sixth year, the annual meet by the United Dance Organisation saw more than 2000 performers from all over the world descend on the resort.

The Winter Gardens was a hive of activity as dance crews from as far afield as Canada, South Africa, Poland, German, Malta and France gathered to show off their skills.

And it was an impressive sight according to Simon Dibley, chief executive of UDO. He said: “We are thrilled to be back in Blackpool for another year, the competition just keeps getting bigger.

“This is such an important weekend in the street dance calendar.

“The standard of dance has been really impressive and performers practise all year for this.

“Shows like Britain’s Got Talent have really helped to raise the profile of street dance and you can see every year how hard the crews work to up their game.”

Blackpool dance crew FY Westcoast were flying the flag for Blackpool as dancers of all ages strutted their stuff on stage in the Empress Ballroom.

Many crews practised routines in the foyer as children in camouflage gear, shirts, ties and trainers and baggy basketball shorts prepared for their big moment.

And hooded sweaters seemed an almost compulsory purchase at the bustling trade stands.

Anxious parents stood and watched as their children performed, but it is an event few would miss according to Alison Bellows. She travelled from Cornwall for the weekend with a group of 40 children who belong to the Gravity and Unleashed dance crews.

She said: “My sons formed the street dance crews and it has really grown, it took us eight hours in mini buses to get here but it’s been worth it.

“The kids have loved performing and it’s been fantastic to bring them all away to Blackpool.”

Lily Field, 17, travelled from Southend with a group of 40 dancers from the crew Poison. She said:

“Getting to watch all the others is great because it gives you loads of ideas”