YOUNGSTERS have boogied their way to victory in a prestigious dancing competition.

A number of schools from the across the county took part in the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing nationals which took place in Guildford.

Two girls from Ramsey were crowned best in the country in their category, while six-year-old Lilly Stead, from Brightlingsea, made it through two heats of the competition.

Lilly Stead has attended the Carol Gale School of Dance in Colchester since she was four.

The Brightlingsea Infant School pupil took part in an Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing competition in Cambridge in the summer and qualified for the nationals.

She made it to the quarter finals of the disco freestyle, dancing to Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling before being knocked out, but she loved every moment of the experience.

The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing is one of the world’s leading dance examination boards.

Her mum Melissa said: “She was very excited, it was really good as we had never been before.

“Being a part of the dance school is like an extended family, it’s part of the community and the older ones are really good with the younger ones.

“Lilly loves winning the trophies, she enjoys the music and costumes and she is quite competitive.”

She has just received an honours in her disco freestyle dance exam, the highest grade available.

She hopes to enter into the next Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing competition and make it through to the nationals once again.

Her mum said: “She had to get in front of the examiner on her own but she’s so confident, she doesn’t find it intimidating.”

Staff at Boogie Shoes Dance Academy, in Ramsey, watched on with pride as 45 of their dancers represented the school in the disco, freestyle and rock n roll categories.


Ava Dalby and Abbie Scott, who are both eight-years-old, were delighted to win trophies proclaiming them to be the best in the country in the under eight Rock n Roll category.

Katie Gooch, who is both the founder and teacher at the school, said: “We compete at so many competitions all the time, but as this is for the best in the country.

“Even to compete means that every child was a winner.

“To have 45 representing the school was amazing.

“To top that, we took home an astonishing 46 places in the finals.

“To see Ava and Abbie crowned national champions was emotional - particularly as Ava is my niece.

“I am incredibly proud, there weren’t many dry eyes among our school when they won.”

Students Leah Mansfield, Ciara Rowe, Lucy Isted, Alice Holden and Lauren Lands all clinched first place positions in the supporting solo and pairs categories.

For the first time, the popular dance school took competitors over the age of 25 to compete at the competition.

Visit for more information about the competitions.