Photo Gallery: Dance talent from the East impresses Strictly Come Dancing star Brendan Cole in Norwich

Youngsters showcased the region's dance talent at a high-energy event judged by Strictly Come Dancing Star, Brendan Cole.

More than a dozen dancers took to the stage at the Forum Amphitheatre on Saturday when Barclays Live descended on Norwich to find the best dance act in the East.

The contestants faced a panel of judges featuring dance-guru Brendan Cole, Norwich 99.9 FM DJ Geoff Hillyer and Paul Hindmarsh from Barclays, who decided which five acts would face a public vote and the chance of winning �1,000.

The five local acts picked for the final stage included Luke Miller and Hanna Creswell of Norwich and Reading, Gabrielle Cocca and Laura Hills of Lowestoft, Angelo Antonio of Plumstead, Dem Bratz of Great Yarmouth and Yvonne School of Dance from Hethersett.

Brendan Cole said: 'Norwich is brimming with dance talent. We saw a bit of street dance, some tap dancing and even some line dancing. What struck me the most about the Norwich acts was their flair for creativity and originality - two of the most important ingredients for great dance.'


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Crowds were also treated to a master class from Cole who pulled Sarah Antonio on to the stage to demonstrate his slick moves.

Laura Hills, 16, of Notre Dame High School and Gabby Cocca, 17, of East Norfolk Sixth Form, reached the final five after impressing the judges with their tap dance routine.

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Miss Hills said: 'We are so pleased. No one knows much about tap any more so we wanted to put together a routine that would help it appeal to a wider audience.'

'Brendan said that he really enjoyed it because he had done tap himself and told the judges just how hard it can be.'

The overall winner of this year's competition will be decided by the public who can vote for their favourite act in the East by visiting the Barclays website.

Last year, the young street dance duo Steadiflux from Birmingham were crowned Barclays Live UK champions after beating-off stiff competition in the form of UK Hip Hop champions Smash Broz and Britain's Got Talent semi-finalists Mini Mezzos. They then picked up over 100,000 votes nationally to take the title and the �1,000 prize.

Videos of each of the five East Anglia acts are available at www.barclayslive.co.uk. Voting closes on Sunday March 27.

Click on the link at the top right hand corner of the page to see a photo gallery of the event.

Are you a talented performer with a story to tell? Contact reporter Ben Woods on 01603 772439 or email ben,woods@archant.co.uk

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