Youngsters Lily and Joseph celebrate Sunderland's support ahead of The Greatest Dancer final
The children, who train at The Worx – Dance Theatre Arts on High Street West, are one of four acts competing for The Greatest Dancer trophy on Saturday, March 7.
Their first audition took place last summer and was broadcast in January this year. Since then, their intricate and emotional routines have gained them fans up and down the country.
Lily Straughan, 11, and Joseph Chow, eight, were chosen by Girls Aloud star Cheryl to become part of her squad at the start of the show and now hope to work their way past the final hurdle to be crowned this series’ winners.
And Joseph’s mum Natasha, who spoke to the Echo and Gazette ahead of the big night, said their families are so proud of the little stars, no matter what happens on Saturday.
“Their relationship has just gone from strength to strength,” Natasha said.
“They didn’t have a lot of time before they got to the audition and there’s been a massive improvement in their dancing.
“Their friendship has grown so much and they’re always trying to better themselves.”
Lily is from Sunderland while Joseph is from Boldon – and this Saturday will see both families head off to London to either watch the show live or celebrate together in the capital.
As their place in the competition grew stronger each week, the North East came alive with support for the children.
Natasha added: “We couldn’t thank everybody enough for all the support. Everywhere we go, we see it.
“It's amazing, and we are so grateful.”
Keeran Greener, co-principal at The Worx, also confirmed earlier this week that the dance school will watch the show’s finale together at the Stadium of Light as part of a special party.
*The Greatest Dancer Final is on Saturday from 6.30pm on BBC One.