THE Acro dance team who train at Planet Gymnastics have hit the dizzying heights of being selected to represent Wales in the Dance World Cup in Offenburg, Germany in June.
The team of 10, aged from nine to 13-years-old are from across the Vale and Cardiff, and train in dance and ballet as part of their artistic and rhythmic gymnastics training at Planet Gymnastics in Grangetown, Cardiff, where they train four times each week in different gymnastics squads.
The Acro group, which is dance and gymnastics combined, were put together to audition by video for the event, and are delighted to have been selected as part of Team Wales.
Emma Thompson, of Dinas Powys, who coaches the rhythmic gymnasts said: "We as coaches and dance teachers felt that it would be a good experience for the girls to do something a little bit different, so put together a routine which highlights the dance, strength and flexibility focus of rhythmic gymnastics and the tumbling and strength of artistic gymnastics.
"We are absolutely over the moon to have been selected to represent our country."
Rebecca Hares, of Barry, the girls' dance teacher said: "We are really looking forward to being able to showcase the ability of these girls who are not only talented and hard-working gymnasts, but also work just at hard at improving their dance skills."
Taking part in the competition comes at a cost. Dance is not funded by either Sport Wales or the Arts Council for Wales, so the girls and their parents are having to fund the trip themselves.
They have therefore started fundraising to ensure that all of the girls who have qualified can take part.
Becky Johnson, director of Planet Gymnastics said: "It's really important to us that all of the girls who have qualified are able to attend the competition and take part in this superb event, which will see 12,000 competitors from 47 countries competing.
"It would be really unfair if any of the girls were unable to compete simply because their parents can't afford for them to go."
Parent Cath Williams has set up a crowdfunding page at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/catherine-williams-431 and the team are also looking for businesses who would be willing to sponsor them.
If you or your company are interested in supporting the girls, please email Eirian Thomas at Eirian.firstname.lastname@example.org