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Eve and Ella dance way to national title

Talented young dancers from a Bognor Regis school have the country at their feet.


Eve Ursell and Ella Huggins were crowned the champion Latin Juvenile dancers at a national contest.


They danced their way to become the best in Britain at the prestigious ISTD finals held in the Empress Ballroom at Blackpool’s famous Winter Gardens.


The successful pair are pupils at the That’s Rhythm Dancing School run by Jools Ellis.


Jools said: “The grand finals are a huge achievement and the results we gained outstanding. The winning couple had six rounds with three heats of 24 in each.


“I’ve had a lot of youngsters get to the quarter and semi-finals in previous years.


“I expected Eve and Ella to reach the semi-finals and, when they got into the final, I told them to come fourth or fifth would be a good result.


“For them to win from a small school in Bognor Regis against top names like The Karen Hardy School and other schools from all over, including Barbados, was incredible. When the result was announced, everyone was crying. ”


Eve, ten, who goes to Aldingbourne Primary School, and Eastergate Primary School pupil Ella, nine, benefit from personalised coaching from Jools.


“They have private one-to-one tuition for an hour and I put them through their paces,” she said. “It has to be a disciplined approach to get them that good.


“If they are being coached, they have to be coached properly. They want to have to do well and be really committed.”


Jools spent 25 years as a showgirl and has run her school in Bognor Regis for ten years.


Eve and Ella were the top performers from That’s Rhythm at the grand finals of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance.


But many other of Jools’ pupils also twisted and turned their way in Latin and ballroom in regional competitions anywhere south of Watford to take their places in the finals.


A further three of her competitors reached the finals of their respective categories. Most of their classmates made it to the semi-finals for the equivalent of a top 12 finish.


Other top performers from That’s Rhythm at the grand finals were:


3rd place – juniors, latin silver: Abi-jo Howell, 13, Bishop Luffa School;


4th place – over 65, ballroom: Mary Mersey;


5th place – over 65, Latin: Mary Mersey;


6th place – over 50, Latin: Kevin Holton.


Other pupils who made it to the grand finals were:


Evie Longhurst, six, Aldingbourne Primary School; Tom Longhurst, eight, Aldingbourne Primary School; Georgia Huggins, seven, Eastergate Primary School; Charlotte Davidson, 14, Bishop Luffa; Chloe Sullivan, 15, Bishop Luffa; Rebecca Reynolds, 15, St Philip Howard; Nicola Holton, over 50; and Annie Cowlishaw, over 50.

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