A BALLROOM and Latin dance school in Basingstoke has returned with a handful of medals after getting a taste of the ‘Strictly’ experience.

Students of Freedom 2 Dance School based in Essex Road travelled to Blackpool to compete in the national finals after qualifying at local competitions throughout the year.

The team of 21, ranging from eight to 80-years-old, came home with a haul of medals and trophies.

Among the winners were married couple Richard and Laura Llewellyn who joined Freedom 2 Dance after moving to Basingstoke.

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After being introduced to ballroom dancing during a rainy afternoon on their honeymoon cruise, they took it more seriously and started working towards exams and then competitions after joining the Basingstoke dance school.

Basingstoke Gazette: Richard and Laura Llewellyn Richard and Laura Llewellyn (Image: Newsquest)

They have so far competed at four Blackpool Finals.

Laura said: “Dancing in Blackpool is every dancer’s dream. To dress up and dance among so many who have worked so hard to get there creates such a special atmosphere.

“And, of course, being with our dance school friends, it’s like being part of one big family, everyone supports and helps each other, we love it and will be making sure we qualify for next year’s final.”

Freedom 2 Dance students are now working towards showcase dances for the school’s Christmas Ball on December 17 when students will be able to perform in front of family and friends.

Basingstoke Gazette: Freedom 2 Dance school pupilsFreedom 2 Dance school pupils (Image: Newsquest)

School principal Jonathon Morrison said: “The Christmas Ball is the highlight of the year. It is a celebration of all that we have achieved through, lessons, workshops, exams and competitions.

“It is also an opportunity for students to move away from the confines of a syllabus, step outside of their comfort zone, learn a different style of dance or to dance with a different partner/teacher. Who better to share all of this with than friends and family.

“After that, we will be working towards the next set of exams and a new year of competitions. And, of course, the Blackpool Finals next November.”

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Adult group classes are held at the school’s studio in Essex Road on Wednesday evenings and in Camberley on Monday evenings.

Children’s group classes take place at the studio on Saturday morning. Private lessons and wedding dance lessons are also arranged at the school.

For more information visit the school’s facebook page: facebook.com/Freedom2DanceBasingstoke.