Kelly Shirley School of Dance in Burscough to represent England at the Dance World Cup

Daisy Winrow, Jessica Mahood, Amy Chung, Emily Felton, Sian Singleton and Sofia De Sousa

Daisy Winrow, Jessica Mahood, Amy Chung, Emily Felton, Sian Singleton and Sofia De Sousa - Credit: Archant

Youngsters from Burscough will be heading to Romania to represent England at the Dance World Cup, reports Rebekka O’Grady.Photography by John Cocks

There’s a hubbub of excitement in Burscough. More specifically, it’s originating from a contemporary dance studio, where 26 pairs of feet are meticulously practising six complex routines. For these pupils at the Kelly Shirley School of Dance, only the best will do as they prepare to represent England at the 2015 Dance World Cup.

‘Everyone is so excited,’ said dance school teacher Kelly Tobin. ‘When the news came back that we had been successful with our entry, we couldn’t put it into words just how happy we were.’

Taking place in Bucharest at the end of June, the Dance World Cup is a showcase of amazing global talent. Competitors from 38 countries will come together at the Rin Grand Hotel for the eight-day world finals to choose the champions in each category.

Last year, Kelly flew out to Portugal to get a feel for the finals. ‘The 2014 Dance World Cup took place in the Algarve, so I went over to see what it was all about,’ said Kelly, who started the dancing school in 2002. They moved to their permanent studio in Burscough three years ago. ‘All competitors were such a high standard, so when I submitted our six bids to the panel this year, I was hoping that at least one would be accepted.’

In fact all six entries were accepted, meaning that the pupils, who are aged between eight and 18, have a great chance of scooping a prize to take home. ‘The students really grasp how enormous this is, not a lot of people have an opportunity to represent their country.’

‘When we first found out, I didn’t tell them until we had finished a normal class,’ explained Kelly. ‘I sat them all down and told them the good news on cupcakes. We even had pink non-alcoholic champagne to celebrate. They were all over the moon.’

Now the students have the task of preparing themselves for one of their biggest competitions to date. As well as partaking in their usual competitions locally and around the UK, the pupils have been practising their Dance World Cup routines near enough every day. They have also been fundraising to cover the costs associated with transport, costumes and equipment.

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‘It’s going to be hard work, but hopefully we will reap the rewards,’ said Kelly. ‘The students are really dedicated and passionate, I love being their teacher. When they win something it gives them so much confidence and self-worth – to have that feeling of achieving something is really important.’

It’s fantastic to watch some of their routines, and the sheer strength some of pupils have in their lifts and jumps is mesmerising. However, have no fears that the younger students may be left behind; they have the same amount of pizzazz as their older classmates.

‘The younger students do same as the older girls,’ said Kelly, whose career started out in West End theatre and choreography. ‘It’s just one huge family here and everyone looks out for one another. On the competition circuit we’re called the Von Trapp family!’

To help KSSD with their fundraising, visit: