Sunderland dancers scoop top prize

TMJ - DanceJAM were crowned winners of South Tyneside Talent Week and scooped the �500 prize.

TMJ - DanceJAM were crowned winners of South Tyneside Talent Week and scooped the �500 prize.

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SUNDERLAND youngsters danced away with the top prize in a talent competition.

The Nearly Famous Performing Arts Group launched South Tyneside Talent Week in a bid to find the next big thing.

It saw contenders of all ages perform at a series of heats in the hope of making the finals, by impressing both the audience and a panel of judges.

And dance troupe TMJ–DanceJAM took away the top prize.

The eight girls, aged between 10 and 14, were led to victory by choreographer Jennifer Oswald.

Jennifer, who is director of Studio JAM, in Sunniside, said: “One of the mums works at a school in South Shields and heard about the contest.

“We’ve got another one coming up so entered this one as a bit of a warm up, and it was just crazy that we won.

“The crew has only been together for about six weeks and the girls don’t know each other that well yet, so it was just amazing.

“We’re going to let the girls spend the money on something that will benefit them, like maybe going to visit the Pineapple Dance Studios, in London.”

Nearly Famous group founder Chris Perry, who organised the week-long contest, said: “The week went very smoothly for it being the first year.

“We have had so many people support us and we were overwhelmed by the level of talent of all of the participants.

“The judges had a very tough decision to make, but I think they did a really good job.

“The winner takes away £500 to spend as they wish, and they will also be invited to perform at our annual Mayor’s Charity event in March next year, as well as being invited back next year to perform in our final and judge one of the heats.”