A HANDFUL of students got to work with some of the world’s best hip-hop dancers at a special workshop this week.

Ten teenagers aged between 14 and 18 at Swindon Dance’s Youth Dance Academy were handpicked by dancers from the Plague UK StreetDance Crew, double world and four time UK hip-hop dance champions.

They were schooled in popping, locking, breaking and animation by experts, who picked two for each category to go forward and train for an upcoming May performance as special guests in a show at Stratford Circus, London.

This Is Wiltshire:

Sammy Ceriani, Frankie Johnston and Genai Mason-Smith

It was an invaluable experience, said Youth Dance Academy urban co-ordinator Vicki Bailey. “It was an amazing opportunity for them to be able to learn from these people and put together a performance,” she said. “To be mentored by experts who are at the top of the game is fantastic and we are fortunate to be able to work with them. A former YDA student, Frankie J, is now a member of Plague and so we’ve been able to work with them quite closely.

“It’s been quite intense for them and they’ve been doing about five hours of practice each day Monday to Thursday. They have to get up to speed very quickly because they will be performing with Plague in May.

“They have had to reach a very high standard in a short space of time.”

Swindon Dance’s Youth Dance Academy are looking to recruit its next intake of students, which is by audition only.

Vicki said: “It’s a great chance for young people to work with high-calibre crews like Plague.” Anyone interested should visit the website at www.swindondance.org.uk.