NEARLY a dozen young dancers are looking out their passports after being selected to represent Scotland at the Dance World Cup.

Each year, more than 120,000 dancers from around the globe seek to qualify to represent their country at the prestigious competition.

This year’s event takes place in Prague from June 26 to July 7.

Among those representing Scotland will be 11 youngsters from the Dunbar School of Dance.

Meryl Stewart, director and teacher at the school, worked alongside fellow teacher Rebecca White for months to prepare the girls for their video auditions.

And the hard work paid off after the youngsters were told that they would be part of the Scotland squad in the Czech Republic.

Miss Stewart said: “I am immensely proud of all the dancers.

“They worked so hard on their dances to qualify for this event. They were crying with joy when I broke the news that they had qualified. This means so much to them.

“During the next few months, they will be working even harder, with lots of extra practices on their dances so that they can make the most of this fantastic opportunity to represent their country on the world stage.”

The standard for qualification for the finals is very high, but the dancers from Dunbar have managed to qualify with four solos, four duets/trios and seven group dances, a considerable achievement for them and the dance school, which will be attending the event for the first time.

Now that the girls – Ember Quinn, Giulietta Bicocchi, Anna Hunter, Jessica Smith, Evelyn Jeffrey, Lilly Baillie, Aven Quinn, Anya Howat, Maresia Buchanan, Riya Anderson and Emma Cameron – have secured their places, the next stage on their journey is fundraising to support their attendance at the contest.

Contributions from a range of sponsors have been gratefully received and have helped provide funding towards the girls’ Dance World Cup kit and entry fees.

Miss Stewart thanked Zenith, Unique, Bielgrange LTD, Spott Energy Services, Garden Stirling Burnet, Honeypot guesthouse, Royal Mackintosh Hotel, Edinburgh Honda specialists, Claremont Motors and Renton Farm Services for backing the dancers, who are aged between nine and 16.

The school has also set up a GoFundMe page to raise further money towards the girls’ costumes and attendance at the event.

Go to to support the dance school.