DANCERS from across Bury and Radcliffe will be embarking on the trip of a lifetime when they jet off to Los Angeles to represent England in a major competition at the weekend.

The Freak Dance team has spent the past 18 months in training for the show which will see them compete against 52 US states and 26 countries.

A team of about 80 people between the ages of eight and 30 will set off from Manchester Airport to LA for the international Dance Excellence contest later this month.

Aeron Lloyd Booth, who runs Freak Dance, said: "Some of the kids have never been on an aeroplane before let alone experienced something like this.

"This is a huge opportunity for them, with the chance to meet companies from all over the globe.

"This team has been preparing for 18 months. It has been so great seeing them grow. They have been working really hard on their routines and I'm sure that work will pay off.

"We are very excited to be representing Manchester."

The team have been attending six-hour rehearsals every Saturday to practice their routines, which include a jazz piece, a lyrics number to Over and Over Again by Nathan Sykes, a hip hop dance and more.

The Radcliffe group has recently begun training in a new venue, across the road from their previous base, in Dale Street, while the Bury groups trains at 66 Bolton Street.

The trip will include three days of workshops in central LA, where the dancers will work alongside choreographers and hip hop teachers and a day of stage castings for television shows and companies.

Each contestant has had to raise just under £3,500 to fund the visit, with help from sponsors, The Zone in Bury and community fundraising.

To help them get ready to perform in front of an audience, Freak Dance has organised a showcase event at the Longfield Suite in Prestwich on Sunday, April 7.

Tickets, at £10, are available from the studios or on the door. The show will take place between 1pm and 3pm.