ten dancers stand by a wales flag
(left to right) Top row- Amelie Walsh, Isabella Maniatt, Evie Watkins, Rebecca Scriven, Abigail Merrett, Elizabeth Jepson and bottom row, Georgina Evans, Charlotte Jepson, Celyn Ellis, Leila Marsh Credit: Starlight Dance Company

A Cwmbran dance group has been picked to represent Team Wales at this year’s Dance World Cup.

Starlight Dance Company will be taking a team of dancers, aged 11-15, to compete in Prague during the summer.

They will compete against dancers from across the world in 12 ballet and lyrical category dances. The Dance World Cup is the largest multi-genre international dance competition in the world and attracts 120,000 competitors from 65 countries.

Starlight’s previous successes at the Dance World Cup include bronze and silver medals, and a world champion gold medal for classical ballet in 2021.

Jacqui Everson, principal at Gemini School of Dance where most of the girls attend their regular lessons, said: “I am so incredibly proud of the girls qualifying for the Dance World Cup finals this year. They have worked so hard to get there. This is an amazing opportunity for them to compete on a world stage. Representing Team Wales is such an achievement and honour, it means the absolute world to us all. I know they can’t wait to dance in Prague this summer.”

Dancers competing for Team Wales this year are Abigail Merrett from Abergavenny, Evie Watkins, Georgina Evans and Leila Marsh from Cwmbran, Isabella Maniatt from Newport, and Amelie Walsh, Celyn Ellis, Charlotte Jepson, Elizabeth Jepson, and Rebecca Scriven from Pontypool.

The team are now training with Amelia Johnson, former Classical Ballet World Champion, Melissa Cave, industry professional, and Ella Appleby, professional ballerina and teacher.

As well as rehearsing hard over the next few months, Starlight needs to raise funds to help send the dancers to Prague.

The team is asking local communities, businesses, friends, and family to help them fund their entry and event fees, team kits, costumes, travel, and accommodation costs. 

For anyone wishing to support, a Justgiving page has been set up for donations.

A joint fundraiser with Piano Orchestra South Wales for an evening of music and dance is also planned on Saturday 27 April at St Hilda’s Church Hall in Griffithstown, Pontypool.

a poster for a dance event
This event will help raise funds for the group’s trip to Prague

The team is being sponsored by Polo Ground Motors Ltd, Gemini School of Dance, and Cwmbran Vale Rotary Club. Contact the group if your business wants to sponsor them. 

Originally formed as a dance school in 2004, Starlight is now a competitive dance team, bringing together dancers from top local dance schools Gemini School of Dance, Appleby Dance, and Children’s Ballet Wales. In conjunction with Rainbow Valley Productions, Starlight has also choreographed and provided dancers for numerous local pantomimes over the past 20 years.