CHILDREN from Swindon Academy of Dance are jetting off to Portugal to take on the globe in the Dance World Cup next month and are looking for the people of the town to help get them there.

The England team has called up 18 youngsters from the school, aged between nine and 16, who will be taking part in individual and group events.

England are the reigning champions of the week-long annual competition which pits 32 countries against each other.

There will be 18,000 dancers taking part in this year’s competition which is being held in Lagoa between June 29 and July 5.

To be considered for selection, entrants had to submit a DVD of their routines which were judged by a panel of experts, before the England team was picked.

Principal Sarah Watson, who will be traveling to Portugal to cheer on her students, said: “We are confident that they can go out there and do well.

“This is the only school in the area to have been successful enough to have youngsters selected which is very pleasing and we were honoured to see them go to the World Cup.

“What I think is really nice is that these children, from up and down the country, are usually campaigning against each other and it will be a nice change for them to come together to represent England.

“I think there will be good camaraderie between them.”

The group of Swindon children have to raise £10,000 to pay to go on the trip to represent their country and have already secured around half of the money.

This has been done through fundraising and sponsorship donations from companies including Imagine Cruising, Catalent Pharma Solutions, Matthew Homes, Atwell Martin estate agents and Gees Active.

Sarah said: “The children have been working hard spending weekends doing bag packing at shops and selling cakes so they’ve tried their best to do their part as this means a lot to them.

“We are all really proud of them and I’m sure they’ll perfom well at the World Cup.”

To raise more funds the dance school is running a raffle and Sarah said that the children will welcome any donations from individuals and companies who would like to support their dreams of World Cup success.

To donate to the trip call Sarah on 07825 543529 or visit