PUPILS from Sheerwater-based dance school Street Vibes are bound for the Dance World Cup in Braga, Portugal, next month.

A 35-strong squad aged eight to 14 will represent Team England across four categories in the tournament which begins on 30 June. Some of the competitors will dance in multiple teams.

The dance school group warmed up for their international assignment with a thrilling performance at the recent Chobham Carnival.

And they have plenty to live up to in Braga. The dance school, whose students again competed as part of Team England, enjoyed remarkable success at last year’s World Cup in San Sebastian, Spain, collecting a gold medal, two silvers, a bronze, a fourth and a sixth from their six dances across the genres of hip hop and commercial.

The Dance World Cup is recognised as the greatest all-genre dance competition for children and young adults around the world, and so fiercely contested it attracts more than 120,000 entrants from 62 countries each year.

Carla Crowley, who runs Street Vibes, said: “The kids are incredible, they all work so hard. We still need funds to help get us to Portugal in June, and everyone is very grateful for the support from everyone at the Carnival.

“It was great for the team to get some vital practice in front of a large audience – and even the rain just about held off!”

One of the Street Vibes performers at the carnival, Henry Bowden, nine, and a member of the Dance World Cup squad, said: “It was a bit nerve-racking at first as there were lots of people but once the music comes on and we start dancing it is loads of fun. I can’t wait to go to the World Cup and represent Team England. I’m really excited.”

Henry’s enthusiasm was echoed his fellow dancers.

Jake Utting, eight, said: “I’m mega excited because I’ve been dreaming of this for ages and the training is exciting, learning new moves.”

Finn Laszlo, 14, added: “Going to the worlds means everything to me, performing with my best friends and showing the world how amazing we are.”

Sisters Georgia-Ann, 18, and Betty-Rose Parker, 12, said: “To go to the worlds and compete for your country is a massive privilege and the memories we have all shared are something we both hold very close to our hearts.

“Having the chance to perform with not only our friends but also our Street Vibes family is something very special. We’re excited to be competing again this year in Braga.”

Mylee Alison, 13, said: “Last year was my first time at the world’s and was definitely one of the best days of my life. The atmosphere was electric and winning a medal was the icing on a cake. I can’t wait to be there with all my friends again this summer!”

lTO donate towards the Dance World Cup challenge, visit www.gofundme.com and search for Street Vibes World Cup. The page also has an email contact panel for any company or individual interested in sponsorship.