AN ASHTON-BASED dance group is aiming to put Tameside on the map at a world championship.
For the second consecutive year, Blaze Street Dance Academy’s Team Limitless has qualified to compete at the Global Dance Organisation’s event.
A key date on the dancing calendar, the competition will take place at the K2 in Crawley, West Sussex, on Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10.
Thousands of dancers will go head-to-head in a variety of categories, including Street Teams, Street Solos and Street Duos, along with one-on-one battles in hip-hop, litefeet and house.
There will also be a chance to win more than £10,000 in cash and prizes.
Reaching the world championship is a dream come true for the talented bunch at Team Limitless, which is based on Store Street, but a dream that unfortunately comes with a hefty price tag.
Soaring costs amid the current financial climate means £3,000 is needed to cover accommodation, coach tickets, hotel fees and other essentials.
Thankfully, the talented group at Team Limitless – which is made up of dancers aged between 8 and 35-years-old – has managed to half the costs with fundraising activities.
And to further boost their hopes, managing director Sammy-Jo Boulton has also launched a JustGiving page.
However, lots of work is still to be done, with the remaining £1,500 needed to be raised in just a four-week period.
Sammy-Jo, who originally created Blaze in 2011, is pleading with the local community to support the cause and give her youngsters a taste of the big time for a second year running.
Speaking to The Correspondent, she said: “Everything seems to have increased in price this year, so that’s made things a little bit more difficult in making things happen.
“The deadline to pay for everything is mid-November, so we’re currently facing a race against time but I’m confident that we can pull it together, just as we did last year, with support from the local community.”
As well as rehearsing for the world championship, members of Team Limitless will be generating additional funds with a 20km bike rise on Monday, October 23.
And to further strengthen hopes of a second appearance, there are whispers a local ventilation company will pledge its support in the form of a sponsorship.
According to Sammy-Jo, the prospect of not competing due to financial barriers would hit her dancers hard.
She added: “The students have worked their socks off all year in everything they’ve been challenged with.
“We put on an amazing performance at the British Championships three months ago to qualify for the World Championships, so the prospect of all that hard work going to waste is hard to take.
“We had a taste of the event last year, finishing in third place, and had a real hunger to return.
“Having managed to do that, we have ambitions of equalling, if not bettering, last year’s result, but obviously that can only happen if we manage raise the funds.”
In the meantime, Sammy-Jo will be keeping busy with other activities at the Academy’s headquarters.
In a bid to appeal to the older generation, The Adult Contemporary, Cheer and Stunt class was launched earlier this month and attracted a decent turnout on its debut night.
Given its immediate success, there are hopes that the class, which takes place every Thursday from 7.30-8.30pm, will continue to grow and provide adults and parents with a chance to let loose in a fun and welcoming environment.
Sammy-Jo continued: “We were quite surprised with how the class went as we didn’t have an adult class advertised.
“We hosted a show recently and there was lots of interest from the adults who were watching.
“Naturally, given the size of the response, we decided to give it a go. One of our teachers introduced the class, and such was the popularity, on the opening night, we were able to hold four sessions.
“It bodes well for the future and we’re excited to see where it takes us.”
*YOU can contribute to Blaze’s appeal by clicking https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Limitless2023