SLIDESHOW: British Street Dance and Freestyle Championships

Blackpool’s Empress Ballroom came alive with dancers of all shapes and sizes as the venue hosted the British Street Dance and Freestyle Championships.

As close to 2,000 people packed into the Winter Gardens for the two day event, children aged from under six to over 16 hip hopped, beat blocked, shimmied and strutted to catch the eye of judges.

Street Dance and Freestyle championships at the Winter Gardens

Street Dance and Freestyle championships at the Winter Gardens

Sandra Wilson, co-organiser of the event with Derek Povey, said the street dance event, now in its fourth year, had proved more popular than ever.

She added: “We spread the competition across two days – street dancers on the Saturday and free style dancers on the Sunday.

“The street dance form is a fairly new concept but it is getting increasingly popular while the freestyle competition has been running since the 1980s.

“A lot of the people come here from across the country – we have dance schools from Scotland, Stoke and two local groups – FY West Coast and UPD from Bispham taking part this year.”

Competitors have a set time to dance to songs, with judges – including dancers who have performed with the likes of Cheryl Cole, One Direction, Ed Sheeran and JLS asked to mark the best.

With hit BBC1 show Strictly Come Dancing due to return to the Tower Ballroom later this year, Sandra admitted Blackpool remained the UK’s spiritual home for dancers.

“Blackpool is a hub of dancing,” she added.

“Next May, we have the British Open Championships which is in its 90th year, while later this year we return for the British Sequence Dance Championships.

“It seems to be as popular as ever before.”