13/04/2012 17:37 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

After Toddler Beauty Pageants, Get Ready For Strictly Baby Disco!

After toddler beauty pageants, get ready for Strictly Baby Disco! Channel 4

We've had beauty pageants for toddlers, now get ready for Strictly Baby Disco aka Dirty Dancing for VERY teeny boppers.

Little girls from across Britain are limbering up to compete for the crown of UK Disco Kid champ.

Clad in garish sequinned costumes, with their faces and bodies plastered with fake tan, girls as young as four are going to huge lengths to achieve their dreams – pushed on by their, er, pushy mothers, of course.

In scenes that are both surreal and cringeworthy, whooping crowds cheer the girls on as they flip and leap around the dance floor of the famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

The child dance scene has been highlighted in a Channel 4 documentary which chronicles the journey of four nine-year-old girls as they battle through a series of heats to try and achieve their dream.

It reveals the girls' rigorous training schedule which involves contorting their small frames into near-impossible positions and performing unbelievable feats of flexibility, stamina and strength for more than six hours a day.

Such is the effort put in by the girls in the documentary that one is shown to collapse in a competition and another appears to be in serious physical discomfort as she takes drags from an asthma inhaler.

The demands of the sport mean the competitors pick up injuries on the path to the top, but for the mums kidney infections, swollen ankles and twisted pelvises will not stop their little prodigies from practicing.

Pauline, mother of Northern Ireland champion Orlaigh, nine, says in the documentary that her daughter regularly gets ill in the run up to competitions.

"I took her to the doctor's and they kept saying that it was stress-related and I was going to them 'but she's nine, how can she possibly be stressed?'" she said.

"They kept saying that before a child has a competition of any sort it is like an athlete and their adrenalin gets a lot faster than it normally is."

And she revealed the key to success.


The more make up, the bigger the hair the bigger the diamonds on the costumes, the more you stand out," she said.


The lengths parents will go to to try and see their little girls win are also depicted in the hour-long documentary.

Tracy says has moved her daughter Billie from Yorkshire to Scotland so she can benefit from a top dance teacher.

She adds: "I just think it is magical. For any little girl it is a dream. When I was a little girl I played netball which is hardly glamorous. I don't know maybe it is me going back to being a little girl."