TALENTED youngsters are celebrating after have returning from a street dance competition as world champions.

The 16 Benfleet and Canvey dancers from Mala Academy of Dance won five top awards at the United Dance Organisation world championships in Glasgow.

The winners included Isabelle Russell, 15, Francesca Brown, 15, Hollie Herbert, six, and Seth Daley and Oscar Calvert, both aged seven.

In addition, the academy’s choreographer Bradley Muggleton picked up the Champions of Champions award with Britain’s Got Talent star Kieran Lai following an impromptu dance.

Principal Clare Beesley said she was incredibly proud of her students’ achievements – particularly as the academy had only competed in one United Dance Organisation competition before.

She said: “It’s been a massive weekend for the youngsters.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of them – they’ve worked so hard.

“I’ve been teaching for ten years now and it feels like all the hard work is finally paying off.”

In addition to the winners, a number of students also made it to the semi-finals of their categories, being among the top 12 of the 80 competitors.

They were Madeline Beesley, ten, Lydia Daley, 12, and Alice Fleet and Heather Chapman, both 17, The academy operates from the Fitness Rooms in Kents Hill Road, Benfleet, and Lakeview Hall, Hilton Road, Canvey.

It is looking for sponsors to help the funding of future competition entries, to coverthe cost of accommodation, transport and costumes.

For more information, visit www.malaacademy.co.uk