East Leeds: Talented teams of dancers scoop more top awards

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Cheer dance and hip-hop squads from Gipton and Seacroft won five trophies at a nationwide championship in Blackpool.


Around 120 dancers from the DAZL Goldstars and their sister company the DAZL Diamonds from Middleton competed against squads from all over the country at the annual Cheer and Chant Championships on Saturday, June 7.


The DAZL Goldstars junior team, aged 11-15, won first prize for their cheer dance routine and also won a second prize for their hip-hop routine. The “tinies” team, aged three-six, won a second prize for their cheer dance routine.


The youth team, aged eight to 10, won a second prize for their hip-hop routine and also won a third prize for their cheer dance routine.


Kia Davies, 14, from Middleton, is a member of the DAZL Goldstars 11-15s’ squad. The 12 girls had been training every Friday in preparation. She said: “I was nervous but it was a great day and the routine went really well.”


The squad is coached by Kia’s mum Cherry Brown, 27. Cherry was dance facilitator at the DAZL Diamonds for 10 years before moving to coach the DAZL Goldstars. She said: “It was a brilliant day. My squad have been working really hard for about three months. I am hardcore and I wanted them to know what it feels like to come first, second and third and they smashed it.


“This was the first time in the competition for the cheer dance 11-15s team and they came away with first prize. It was absolutely amazing.


“Some of the dancers were crying with nerves and I told them that the judges are just normal people watching their routines. I got cuddles from the parents afterwards and it really means a lot.”


The DAZL Diamonds based in Middleton also won 22 trophies – the biggest ever achievement for the group.


Founder and director of DAZL, Ian Rodley, said: “It was fantastic. It is an amazing achievement. The children loved it and we are getting some amazing results.


“We work with children from east and south Leeds and we get that support from parents that other groups don’t. It is really popular in the community. We also won an award earlier this year for best overall contribution to child friendly Leeds so this really supports and champions that too.”


”Dance Action Zone Leeds (DAZL) is funded through the Leeds City Council Public Health Active For Life programme and also Gipton and Seacroft Community First. DAZL was established in 2000 and became a registered charity in 2004.


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