A Blackpool dance troupe is celebrating after 42 of its students have got through to the qualifying stages of the world’s biggest dance competition.
Six groups and one duo from Langley Dance Academy will represent England at the Dance World Cup competition, which takes place in Rome next summer.
And as part of the competition, two girls, Olivia Nordwind and Francesca Papa, have been invited to do a live audition at Pineapple Dance Studios in London on January 5, competing against other duos.
Read more: Blackpool's Olivia wins top award at Can You Dance final, on top of gaining a scholarship at Urdang Academy of Performing Arts
Donna Langley, who runs the dance academy, said: “This is the world’s biggest dance competition. We had to film various routines and send them off to the adjudicators, who are some of the biggest names in the industry: Arlene Phillips, Wayne Sleep and Debbie Moore, founder of Pineapple Dance Studios.
“If you score high enough, you get through to the Dance World Cup in Rome next years.
“We were so lucky as we have six groups and one duo - Olivia Nordwind and Francesca Papa - which makes 42 students.
“A total of 62 countries have taken part, with around 20,000 competitors.
“Olivia and Francesca qualified for their jazz duet but as judges couldn’t decide for the tap duet, they will do a live audition in London. Olivia will also perform a solo against two other girls.
“This will be very exciting for them, but very nerve-wracking.
“We are so thrilled top be a part of this competition. It is so elite and you have to be of a high standard to get through.
“We do lots of regional competitions but this is a really big one.
“The people adjudicating are as high as you can get and so to have scored enough to get through is amazing.
“We are absolutely over the moon.
“And we can’t believe we have 42 students getting through. It is such a big achievement.”
Sarah Cairns, dance teacher at the academy, said: “We want to thank Jo Arnett-Morris, head of Team England, who organised all the groups.”
The dance group now needs to raise a significant sum of money to cover expenses, such as flights and accommodation.
Donna added: “A lot of the parents pay for their own children’s entry fees, but we still need to cover flights, hotels and costumes. They are all really excited.”
The final will take place in Rome from June 26 to July 4.
If anyone wants to sponsor the academy or donate funds, email Sarah Cairns via email@example.com.