TWO youngsters from the Moorlands have come out tops in a dancing competition. Nine-year-old Kaynan Barfoot and 10-year-old Polly Welford were crowned as the winners of the Juvenile Beginners Ballroom Competition at the 'Champions of Tomorrow' contest in Blackpool on Saturday, January 5. The contest, which took place at the Empress Ballroom Winter Gardens, saw couples from as far as Iceland and Malta competing. The dancers were scored for their performances by a panel of nine judges.
Kaynan and Polly also came fourth in the Juvenile Beginners Latin Competition.
Kaynan, who lives in Blythe Bridge, has been dancing since the age of five; while Polly, who lives in Cheadle, has been dancing since the age of six.
They have both been competing in the sport together for the past 18 months. They have won a number of awards and were crowned as the top 17th dancing couple for their category in November at another contest in Blackpool.
The pair have only ever danced competitively with each other. Kaynan said: “I would not want to dance with anyone else but Polly.”
Polly said: “We do sometimes bicker but we soon make up. He is more the boss out of us both but he is a good dance partner.”
Polly, who attends Cheadle Primary, initially started out learning other forms of dance such as disco and tap. She said: “This style of dancing makes me feel good being on the dance floor and I like the winning.”
Kaynan, who attends Forsbrook Primary School and also swims for Cheadle District Swimming Club, said: “What’s great about dancing is that we get to do different steps and do different things and win trophies. I would like to be a world champion dancer one day.”
Kaynan’s grandma Ann Tait said: “I think they have done brilliant. Kaynan enjoys dancing and never not wants to go to classes.
“With his swimming he has to divide his time.”
She added: “I am very proud of them both. I cried on Saturday when they were announced as the winners.
“Barbara and Robert, who run the dance classes, bring out the best in them. Barbara is firm but very patient with them.”
Polly’s mum Anna Welford said: “I am really proud of her. They both work really hard and never moan.”
Kaynan and Polly also like dancing for local community groups and have recently performed in front of the Cheadle Pensioners group.
They also danced with AJ and Chloe, stars of Strictly Come Dancing, at a recent charity event, and they danced at the Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor’s Ball in November.
Kaynan and Polly attend dance classes at Cheadle’s Guildhall which are led by Barbara and Robert Litchfield.
Barbara has been teaching dancing in Cheadle for 25 years. She, and her husband Robert, run Premier Dance Centre in Longton which also operates dance classes at Cheadle Guildhall three times a week.
Barbara said: “Kaynan and Polly are our best achievers for their ages at our classes. I feel very proud of them.
“They could both go really far if they keep working hard. They should just keep dancing their best.”
Barbara, who was born and bred in Cheadle herself, also won certificates at Saturday’s Blackpool dance contest for being Kaynan and Polly’s teacher.
Barbara said of the benefits of dancing, in particular for youngsters: “It gives them great confidence and good co-ordination.
“It is a very sociable sport where they learn to communicate with people of all different ages.”
The dance classes on offer at The Guildhall include for children on Thursdays, a tea dance on Wednesday afternoons, and a beginners class on Monday evenings. Barbara said: “We would like to see more boys get involved with dancing. “
For further information go online to www.premierdancecentre.com
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