IN the 15 year history of the Leeds Rhinos dance team, all of the members have been girls...until now.
The club has become the first in the country to recruit permanent male dancers, with six signings due to make their debuts in next month’s World Club Challenge.
Two of the new dancers, Chris Banks and Sid Coronel, showcased their skills alongside their female teammates at Headingley’s Carnegie Stadium.
And the pair made street dancing, body popping and break dancing look like a walk in the park.
Chris, from Wakefield, works as a dance teacher in schools during the day and was asked to audition for one of the new places by dance captain Nicola Booth.
The 25-year-old said: “I feel very excited. It will be good to be able to work on different styles with the dance troupe that’s already here and bring a boy dynamic into it, with the flips and the tricks.”
Sid, 22, from Hyde Park, only started dancing four years ago when he attended a class at Leeds University – and ended up running the group after his teacher left.
Sid said: “It will be an experience working with all of the girls.”
Chris and Sid were recruited after Leeds-based estate agents Spencer Properties struck a deal to sponsor the dance team.
Group chief executive John Spencer has supported the Rhinos for 50 years, attending every home game, and said he was proud to support the dance team as it “moves with the times”.
The Spencer Properties Leeds Rhinos Dance Team consists of six male dancers and 16 female dancers for the 2012 season, with 14 performing on a match night.
The male dancers will make their debuts in the Heinz Big Soup World Club Challenge against Australian champions Manly Sea Eagles on February 17.