Shoreham dancers in fundraising bid to make World Dance Championships dream a reality

Shoreham dance and gymnastics team i-star Academy will represent team England at the World Dance Championships in Rome, Italy.

i-star Academy dancers heading to the Dance World Championships
i-star Academy dancers heading to the Dance World Championships

Head of i-star, Maria Foster, said the team had to audition to represent Team England, and felt ‘really honoured’ to be picked out of all the auditioning dance schools.

The team of 20 girls, aged between 14 and 18, and their families have to fund the trip themselves but are hoping to raise extra money to contribute towards the costs of the team outfit.

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Maria said: “For some, without this extra funding, it would be financially impossible to attend.”

The group has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Team England outfits, with a target of £2,000.

One of the dancers who will be competing in Rome in July is Holly Carey, 14, who moved to i-star from another dance school one year ago.

Holly said: “I’m excited because out of all the dance schools we were the one that was chosen to represent our country, and to see other people from around the world all perform will be really amazing.”

Charlotte Jones, a mother of one of the dancers who will be representing England, said the team work ‘incredibly hard’, training up to 20 hours a week.

She described how much i-star had benefited the girls in the team, stating that the girls had ‘grown up in the club and made friendships for life’.

i-Star attended the Dance World Championships in New Jersey, USA, in 2015 and 2016, bringing home a trophy that was so big in 2015 that it had to have its own seat on the plane.

Its dancers and gymnasts have also participated in the Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

Former i-star rhythmic gymnast Hannah Martin took part in this year’s The Greatest Dancer on BBC One.

The World Dance Championships are being held from the June 26 to July 4, and will be live-streamed for viewers to watch.

There are estimated to be more than 6,000 dancers from 64 countries taking part.

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To find out more about the academy, visit www.i-staracademy.co.uk