HUNDREDS of hopeful dancers donning stars, stripes and Union Jacks hit the dance floor in Portsmouth to battle it out at The South Coast Street Dance Championships.

Eleven schools from across Hampshire and beyond battled it out at The Mountbatten Centre at the Street Dance International Competition to win sought after trophies and move up in the ranks to Championship standard.

Many had been practising for months for the chance to win one of the giant trophies and be placed on the winner’s podium.

The competitions featured a star studded judging panel to the tune of Claire Miles of dance school Class Crew.

Claire trained international dancing superstar Akai who has featured in many dance films and television appearances. Based in Kent, the school have recently returned from Slovenia where they competed in the European Championships returning with eight medals in hip hop, electric boogie and break dance.

Also judging the moves was Christina who dances for Boy Blue entertainment. Christina danced at the Olympic opening ceremony, is a featured dancer for Adidas and has performed on Channel 4.

The final judge was Stefan who dances for Unity UK. He is currently part of West End theatre show Thriller Live as a dancer and Michael Jackson’s understudy.

Once introduced, the dancers knew their efforts had to be sky high to score the best prizes.

There were competitions in solos, groups, pairs, teams and break dance and the performances wouldn’t have looked out of place in any one of the street dance films. Some competitors were fresh from competing at the European Championships in Slovenia, and will be off to Germany in October to hopefully be ranked among the world’s top street dancers.

The most popular moves of the moment included hand gestures, leans and head spins.

Schools from the south who who competed included Belinda’s Dance Academy from Shirley , Street Beatz from Sholing , Bust-AGroove from Nursling , REDs from Totton and Southzone from Portsmouth. Some schools even travelled from as far as Kent to compete.

Organiser Belinda, of Belinda’s Dance Academy said: “The competition gets bigger and better every year. But we aim to promote a fun friendly environment , where its not just about winning trophies, but enjoying the dancing and making new friends.”

Dancers who made it into finals in their sections can now progress into the Open sections and Championship sections where the standard is much harder.

One dance school T21 entered a number of teams to compete, and KUDOS, who displayed a fast and frantic street dance routine wowed the judges, while the under 8’s had the awe of the parents and friends who had come to watch them.

Winners went home with trophies taller then themselves and black and gold sashes which pleased proud as punch parents. The dancers will now go into training for the winter championships which will take place in December.