East Belfast Dance Company ‘Breaks’ Onto World Stage

AN east Belfast-based dance company has been given the chance to propel itself onto a global platform, after 30 of its young members qualified for the UDO World Street Dance Championships.

The spectacular achievement by Ajendance is testament to the hard work of Annika Graham and Clare Montgomery who set up their cross-community dance business in a studio on the Newtownards Road in 2012.

Since then the energetic duo have developed a thriving business, attracting children and young people from across Northern Ireland.

The company’s recent success at the regional qualifying event exceeded all expectations, scooping two first places in the team events and a first and third place in the solo classes.

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With competitors ranging from the age of 5 to 20, all sights are now set on Glasgow which will host the UDO World Championships in August. Training for the event is well underway with all competitors determined to bring gold awards back to Belfast.

“This has been an amazing achievement for our dance crews” said Annika Graham, adding: “Training for the qualifiers alone requires months of work but it paid off and we’re delighted to be able to compete against the world’s top street dancers this summer.

“In addition to the preparation we will be non-stop fundraising to help support the parents and ensure all our dancers can afford to take part in the World Championships.

“This really is a dream come true for our children and young people and is also a great opportunity for Northern Ireland to become recognised for its wealth of creative talent.”

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Tina Calder
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