A Bolton dance team has won first place at the UK Great Big Dance Off making them the north’s regional champions.

Smithills School Elite Dance Team competed at the Victoria Theatre in Halifax.

The team competed against 30 other secondary  schools based in the North and were placed first, scoring an amazing 189 points out of 200.

Now the dancers will compete in the UK Great Big Dance Off Grand Final, in Cheltenham on July 1.

Each academic year, the Year 11 dancers are given an opportunity to put into practise the skills and knowledge that they have learned within the dance curriculum to plan, choreograph, costume, design music and lead the dance team.

The Bolton News: The dance awardThe dance award (Image: Roy Abbott - Smithills School)Head of Faculty for Performing Arts and PE, Andy Milthorpe, said: “The dance team has gone from strength to strength since starting back in March 2016.

“The dance team, of around 35 pupils, who range from Years Seven to 11, work tirelessly during their lunch and after school to choreograph, train and prepare for performances and competitions throughout the UK.

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“On behalf of the school and the faculty I am exceptionally proud of each pupil for their energy and commitment to the team and wish them all the success with the final on July 1.”

Two of the current Year 11 choreographers, Mya Taylor and Brooke Bardsley said: “Mr Milthorpe gives us a range of opportunities to take the lead on choreographing dance pieces, designing music and planning costumes for forthcoming events and competitions.

The Bolton News: Smithills School Elite Dance Team Smithills School Elite Dance Team (Image: Roy Abbott - Smithills School)“We have both thoroughly enjoyed learning new leadership qualities and passing down our expertise in dance and choreography to other pupils in the team.”

Jamie Nugent, one of the Year Seven dance team pupils, said: “The offer of dance here at Smithills School is amazing and the opportunities that we are given have helped me to develop my confidence and work with pupils from other year groups.”

The dance team rehearse every lunchtime and after school to prepare for dance events and competitions.

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