Local dance troupe win All-England acclaim for Ukrainian performance

Three Tunbridge Wells Dancers

Three young dancers from Tunbridge Wells were named national champions in the All England Dance National Finals at the end of July, thanks to their performance of national dance from Ukraine.

Local dancers 17-year-old Lilli-Belle Wright, 16-year-old Freya Armstrong and 17-year-old Ella Kukkola, who train at The Dance Consortium, first performed their Ukrainian dance at the Ukraine Relief Group’s fundraising event.

At the national dance competition late last month, the girls performed their number again in the classical dance section, where performances must be choreographed in the most authentic style, music and costuming for the traditional dance of a country.

“This particular trio celebrates the national flower, the sunflower, and the symbol of hope that it represents to the people of Ukraine,” explained Katie Thompson from the Dance Consortium.

“Sunflower buds face the rising sun and trace the movement of it each day and the choreography reflects this.”

At the competition, Ella also received a top mark for her solo tap performance and was invited to compete in the AED Young Tap Dancer of the Year competition, where she was runner-up.

The girls started their training as pre-schoolers at the Dance Consortium, where national dance is taught from age five, starting with English national dance.

Other Dance Consortium pupils, some as young as seven, also brought home medals from the championship.

The Dance Consortium was founded in Tunbridge Wells in 1986, and is accepting new students to join from September, both in Tunbridge Wells and at their new branch in Crowborough.

Interested families can sign up at: TheDanceConsortium.co.uk

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