A HELENSBURGH troupe was one of only six Scottish teams to take to the Dance Worlds stage this year – and they are the only team ever from Argyll and Bute to make it to the competition.

The group of eight Dazzlers from Dancefit won their Worlds bid in June last year at Jamfest Europe after they were one of the three highest scoring teams of the competition, securing their place with their senior jazz routine.

Since then the youngsters had been fund-raising and training and in April their dream was realised when they flew to Orlando, where the best groups from across the globe compete for prize titles.

Coach Donna Martin had competed at the Cheerleading Worlds in 2006 and it was her goal to get her team there.

She said: “Achieving a bid to Worlds in Florida is the single biggest achievement in any competitive team.

“It’s what everyone aspires to. Teams quite literally from all over the world, including Japan, America, Dominican Republic and Mexico to name a few attend and just to witness the incredible talent, culture and sportsmanship was amazing.

“Mingling and getting pictures with world champions and teams that have inspired us for many years is something we will never forget.”

The group shone during their semi-final performance on April 30 and made it to the finals the following day. They finished up ninth in the world with their open Co Ed jazz performance.

Donna added: “The whole experience is very surreal, very dream-like. I still can’t believe it’s happened. Who would have thought a wee team of eight from Helensburgh and Dumbarton would have made it to that Worlds stage – but we did.

“We’ve not only brought back a trophy, but so many memories that will never be forgotten. We always were a close team but have bonded even more so now sharing this special experience together.

“We’ve inspired so many of our younger generation, something that’s equally as important as the experience itself.”

Donna is incredibly proud of all her team has achieved and is looking forward to everything they have coming up.

The Worlds team, along with their younger squad, senior, juniors, youth and minis, is set to perform at the Dancefit annual show on Saturday, June 17 at Hermitage Academy.

Donna added: “I’m incredibly proud of my team, the pressure on them was very intense, but they battled through and came out the other side, showing the whole world how talented and special each and everyone of them are.

“Words can’t even begin to explain the pride and love I have for them. They quite literally made my dream come true.”