South Leeds cheerleader boys success

Auditions to join the DAZL Boys.

Auditions to join the DAZL Boys.

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Europe’s only all-male cheerleading squad is getting bigger and bigger.

The south Leeds-based DAZL Boys saw 28 newcomers audition for places in different age groups as cheerleading for boys in the city continues to grow in popularity.

It comes as the boys brace themselves for yet another television appearance, this time on CBBC’s The Slammer.

Ian Rodley, director of Dance Action Zone Leeds (DAZL), said: “We had a really high standard at what was more of a hip hop audition but they were like, ‘we want to do the pom pom stuff’.

“There’s even going to be some boys that don’t make the teams because they aren’t ready or need more time.

“It’s great that our boys are changing behaviours and people’s attitudes to dance.”

All together DAZL had 42 boys at the auditions, which included some senior dancers.

Kane Keith, 12, from Belle Isle, auditioned for the group for the first time this week.

He said: “I decided to audition because I like to dance and it is a good experience, and it looked good on TV!

“I started going to football and looked at some other activities and I got interested in street dance and cheerleading.”

In 2009, DAZL expanded to include a new boys’ team and ever since they have gone from strength to strength with high profile appearances all over the UK.

Josh Holt, 14, who has danced with DAZL for three years, said: “At first there was only a few of us doing it and now every time a new person joins, more and more people want to do it.

“At the end of the day, some people like football or rugby but we like dancing, a lot of boys feel like they can’t say that though. You should be a leader not a follower.”

The boys have already been in a BBC Two documentary, featured in a DJ Tiesto music video and are now set to appear on The Slammer in autumn.

Donna Coulling

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