DANCERS aged between four and 65 won 83 medals at a national championships.

The 26 members of Dianne White's Academy of Dance, Shildon, attended the UK Alliance Medallist of the Year Competition at Blackpool.

"We got 83 medals and 31 of them are first places," said Ms White, who runs the academy in the old Salvation Army Hall, Cross Street.

Nineteen dance schools took part and there were more than 400 individual contests.

The success followed a week after the International Dance Teachers' Association Medallist of the Year event, at Windsor Gardens, in which the academy had six finalists.

During the two weekends, the dancers displayed old and modern sequence routines as well as ballroom and Latin.

Ms White said: "We are very, very proud of all the pupils who danced, regardless of whether they got a medal."

She said thanks were due to teachers Ray White, Chris Rushby and Sue Rollo, and Olwyn White, who helped with the organisation of the academy's competition bids.