Westergate brother and sister dancing duo to represent UK at international competition

A brother and sister ballroom dancing duo from Westergate have had their dreams come true by being selected to represent Great Britain at an international competition in China.

Tom and Evie Longhurst

Tom Longhurst, 11, and Evie Longhurst, nine, flew out to Shenzhen yesterday, two of just eight youngsters selected to take part in this year’s Ballroom and Latin Dance Open Championship.

Their mother, Sarah Longhurst, said it was a dream come true and said: “What a thing for them to be able to go out there and represent their country on a world stage.”

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The pair’s dancing journey started when Evie, a big fan of Strictly Come Dancing, tried her first dancing class at That’s Rhythm Dancing School in Felpham at the age of five.

Tom and Evie Longhurst

She fell in love and before long, owner Jools Ellis had persuaded Tom to give it a go too.

Soon both youngsters, who attend Aldingbourne Primary School, were hooked on both Latin and ballroom dancing.

Sarah said: “I think they’ve just found their calling. They’ve just been getting better and better.”

She said it had been a ‘rollercoaster few years’ with non-stop performing and competing.

Tom and Evie Longhurst

“They train four times a week, all over the country,” Sarah said.

“We compete every week on a Sunday – they’ve only had three Sundays off since the New Year.

"But they love it, they absolutely want to do it. They work very, very hard.”

The pair even auditioned on Britain’s Got Talent earlier this year, though sadly their performance did not make it onscreen.

The duo were selected to take part in the competition in China by Lisa Bellinger and Alex Invanets of A&L Dance Academy in Hedge end.

Sarah said: “It’s going to be very intense, but they take it all in their stride.”