A TALENTED tap duo are preparing for the dance of a lifetime after winning the opportunity to shine on a worldwide stage.

Abbie Elmes, 16, and Craig Noakes, 15, have been announced as senior and junior winners respectively in a competition organised by the prestigious Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD).

The pair will now go forward to represent the society’s tap dance faculty at their Global Bursary Awards, later in 2021.

Abbie, from Great Bromley, is a student at The Company Performing Arts, in Clacton.

Clacton’s Craig goes to Stagestruck Academy, in Frinton, and attends Tendring Technology College.

Stagestruck Academy principal Simone Castle said: “It’s lovely that our two award-winning performing arts schools can celebrate success stories like this together.

“These were prestigious titles and it’s a tremendous achievement for both Craig and Abbie.

“Dance students across the globe enter this competition, hoping to win recognition.

Prestigious title - Craig Noakes will perform at this years Global Bursary Awards

Prestigious title - Craig Noakes will perform at this year's Global Bursary Awards

“Both of them will now go on to represent the very best dancers worldwide and compete for the opportunity to be awarded significant financial bursaries, which will assist them with the cost of their future training.”

Due to Covid restrictions, both students had to send in their winning routines via videolink.

They were judged by top industry professionals including Laurence Olivier Award winner Charlie Stemp, currently performing as Bert in Mary Poppins in the West End.

Miss Castle added: “We were filming Craig’s winning performance right up until the midnight start of lockdown in November.

“It was a stressful but exciting part of the year and well worth the effort.

“I’m so proud of Craig’s success.”

Aaron Lissimore, principal of The Company Performing Arts, added: “I’m so incredibly proud of Abbie.

“Her passion and dedication for tap dance have been truly rewarded and her routine was a powerful, emotional piece that she managed to portray with ease.”

Abbie and Craig’s success is a feather in the cap for The Company Performing Arts and Stagestruck Academy.

Both are award-winning performing arts schools and both are celebrating big milestone years.

The Company Performing Arts is celebrating its ten-year anniversary and Stagestruck Academy its 20th.

Both schools will be marking the landmarks in style with celebration performances at theatres in Clacton.

The Company will be performing ‘Ten’ at The West Cliff Theatre, in July, while Stagestruck Academy is performing its ‘Work in progress – 20-year celebration’ at The Princes Theatre, in August.