1. ITV Report

Norwich teenager makes it to international dance competition

A Norwich dancer performed alongside competitors from all around the world in an international dance competition, that showcases the stars of tomorrow.

Dancers from around the world descended on Essex for the Pro Am Stars of the Future – with some entrants flying from as far as Dubai to compete.

Norwich ballroom dancer Darcy Amiss was entered with high hopes, after already bagging a string of trophies in the junior categories, including a World Championship title in Paris.

This was sixteen-year-old Darcy’s first time competing in an adult category.

“Mum and Dad put me into dance classes when I was two years old. "I think that because of Strictly Come Dancing, ballroom dancing is back in fashion and more current now.” “This year I’m going up to adults, but my mindset is just to have fun.”

– Darcy Amiss
Darcy performing the ballroom dance that won her third place Credit: ITV Anglia

Darcy recently completed her final exams at Norwich High School for Girls and says she used dancing as a way to switch off from the pressure.

“When I was doing my GCSEs, I used dancing as a release from all of the studying, and even though I’m competing it’s just fun for me.”

But while dancing may be fun, competing at this level is not a path everyone could afford to follow.

Darcy estimates that dancing and competing can cost around £30,000 a year - to pay for a dance coach, travel expenses, hiring partners and of course, the dress.

Costumes alone can cost thousands of pounds. In this year’s competition, Darcy helped design her own dress, and in the past she has worn costumes previously used on Strictly Come Dancing, including the one worn by Kara Tointon in the 2017 final.

She has even received coaching from Strictly judge, Shirley Ballas.

Shirley is very straight to the point –she’ll tell you, “you’re not good enough”. She breaks you before she makes you. But I need that push – it was really rewarding”.

– Darcy Amiss
Darcy says she can't wait to compete again in July Credit: ITV Anglia

This time, the judges didn't favour Darcy's Latin routine, and she failed to make it through to the final, but she did win third place for a ballroom performance.

“As an athlete, it doesn’t always go your way. But I'm using this as a sort of apprenticeship. I’ll bide my time and just get ready to be back competing in July”.