A STUDENT is dancing for joy after winning through to the final of Miss Tees Valley, a competition that promotes charity work, community and friendship building.

Ella Barton, a student at Wyvern Academy, Darlington, will vie for honours at the culmination of the regional contest, which will be staged in Billingham, in August.

As well as looking the part in evening wear, a ballgown and a dance outfit, the 16-year-old dancer will be interviewed on a variety of topics and raise as much money as possible for the charity, Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice.

In 2017, Ella represented her country reaching the semi-finals of the prestigious World Street Dance Championships in Glasgow, competing in the solo, team, quad and pairs competitions.

If she is successful at the Miss Tees Valley regional final she will qualify for the nationals of Miss Great Britain.

Sponsored by Keep Fit Darlington, Ella began dancing ballet when she was just five and took up street dance at school.

Now a member of On Point Dance School, she is studying jazz, contemporary, lyrical and street, as well as Btec dance and PE. She hopes to study at Darlington College when she leaves Wyvern Academy.

“I love the fashion side of Miss Tees Valley and I’m also enjoying working with the school’s PTA to raise money for Zoe’s Place,” she said.

“My friend took part in the contest last year and is giving me some tips. I enjoy competing. Taking part in the dance world championships was amazing. The dream would be to dance with Diversity and one day to have my own dance school.”

Assistant Headteacher Ruth Hampson said: “The school PTA is looking forward to working with Ella in her charity fundraising. Ella is demonstrating what can be achieved when young people have a passion and aspirations and are prepared to work hard to achieve their goals.”