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Strictly comes dancing to Sutton schools 17.12.10

The stars of Strictly Come Dancing helped youngsters from Sutton's schools hone their ballroom skills.

Pupils demonstrated their dancing in a major competition this week just days before the final of the popular BBC television show.

The teenagers perfected their jive and salsa moves in weekly classes led by professional dancer Izabela Hannah throughout the autumn term. Izabela took part in the third series of Strictly Come Dancing, partnering former snooker World champion Dennis Taylor.

Judging the performances were the stars of the TV series and professional dancers Darren and Lilia, alongside Lyn Harman, a former Latin World Champion. The married dance partners have appeared in many of the shows - Lilia waltzed to victory with cricketer Darren Gough in the third series, and partnered rugby-playing runner-up Matt Dawson in series four. Darren won series two partnering actress Jill Halfpenny.

Over a hundred students from Cheam High School, Glenthorne High School, Wallington Girls School and Wilson's School took part in Sutton's knock-out heats.

The quarter-final, semi-final and final heats saw Ellie Somavilla and James Harris announced as the overall winners. The pupils from Wallington Girls and Wilson's School were then presented with a cup and medal by Sutton Mayor Cllr Margaret Court.

Cllr Kirsty Jerome, Sutton Council's Executive Member for Education and Schools, said: "I would like to congratulate Ellie and James for their winning performance.

"Dancing classes are a marvellous way to keep fit and it's good to see young people taking part and really enjoying themselves."

This is the third year running that the ballroom dance lessons have been offered to pupils to encourage take-up of sports. Aimed at students who wish to diversify the range of sporting activities they participate in, the projects has previously seen many students continue with lessons after enjoying the experience so much.

Parents, friends and teachers watched the grand finale at St Philomena's High School for Girls on Tuesday 14 December.

Last updated: Tuesday, 04 January 2011

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