A TEAM of 13 young dancers from a Dalgety Bay dance school will be jetting off to the Dance World Cup.

The group of youngsters, aged between just six and nine from the Robertson Dance Academy, will be representing Scotland in Braga, Portugal, at their biggest competition yet in June.

Gillian Robertson, the owner of the academy, is extremely proud of the girls.

She told the Press: "It is a phenomenal achievement when you're only that age, and they're heading off to Braga in Portugal to represent team Scotland in the Dance World Cup this summer.

"It's our first time doing it as a team event so it's really exciting and the girls are absolutely buzzing for it. There's more than 60 countries that take part from around the world so it will be good fun!"

The team will be flying off to sunny Portugal on June 30 until July 8 where they will perform the dances that they will be spending the next six months perfecting.

She continued: "They're so excited about the whole thing and it will be a phenomenal experience for them, I think they'll gain a lot from that. They'll see other dancers from different countries that maybe do things slightly differently and lots of the time they make friends with other dancers from different countries that maybe don't speak the same language as them.

"I'm absolutely thrilled. I don't want to say I'm surprised because I know how good they are but I'm so proud to see that they've managed to achieve this and I just want them to go and really enjoy it, not to worry too much about their performance and where they're placing but to just go out and give it their all when they take the stage."

It's the trip of a lifetime but with the cost of flights, accommodation and costumes, Gillian is expecting that the total cost for all the girls will amount to approximately £10,000.

Mirren Ross, seven, is one of the girls who will be heading to Braga with her mum, Caroline. They plan to make it into a girls' trip with the other mums and kids. Mirren's parents are extremely proud of her achievements and they can't wait to get over there.

Caroline told the Press: "We just felt it was a really exciting opportunity for her at her age to be able to say that at seven she went to compete and represent Scotland. We're absolutely thrilled to bits that they're getting put forward for it and we've even had some really generous sponsorships for it!"

To help out with the costs, two businesses have sponsored the team; Morrison Construction and Bitwise Group in Dunfermline.

On top of this, the girls will be helping to run a number of fundraisers, including their Kids Choreography Competition due to take place on February 5 at Dunfermline High School, a race night, a sponsored danceathon and even a bake sale.

Gillian continued: "We're really grateful for all that sponsorships but we've got loads of other plans, just stuff like bake sales and things, for our own fundraising because we want to do our bit as well, we can't just rely on sponsorships for everything because companies are going through the same cost-of-living crisis that everybody else is feeling as well so we've got to do our bit as much as we can.

"We want to make sure that the kids get involved as well so that they can see the benefit. That's a good little life lesson for them, as well as all the others they'll learn in the process of being a part of Team Scotland."

To support the girls and their journey, keep up to date on their fundraising events on their Facebook page, Robertson Dance Academy.