IT’S the hottest date in thousands of dancers’ diaries.
The Dance World Cup sees more than 12,000 people from across the world compete to be crowned the best.
And now it’s also proved lucrative for a small Portsmouth business.
The competition returns this weekend and it’s taking place in Jersey.
And a business in North End has won the business lottery after securing a clothing contract with The Dance World Cup for its tracksuit designs.
Beverly Mapes, owner of Designsalike on London Road, has been busy embroidering the tracksuits for thousands of dancers.
She and her staff have designed sportswear for teams and clubs for many years in Portsmouth, starting business in 1991.
In 2015 dance school Marie Clarke from Rodney Road, Milton qualified to go to the semi-finals in Romania and needed their name and logo stitched into tracksuits that had been ordered from the Dance World Cup.
But disaster struck as the tracksuits that the Dance World Cup had ordered from a Turkish company only arrived the day before the competition – in the wrong shape and size.
Beverly and her staff rescued the team and gave them something new to show off. The tracksuits caught the eye of the competition organiser who jumped at the chance to have Beverly and Designsalike work exclusively for them.
Now, one year on, Beverly has created tracksuits for more than 50 UK teams, including those in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Beverly, from North End, said: ‘I offered my help and the woman in charge replied to me in seconds. It feels good.
‘This year there will be more than 1,000 dancers wearing my designs.
‘I’ve been making tracksuits for over 15 years and was thrilled to be given the contract.
‘Since February we’ve manufactured, embroidered and printed over 900 tracksuits.’
Beverly, 57, has had offers from foreign teams, such as Team Portugal, to make tracksuits for them but has had to decline due to the extent of work already in front of her. ‘My plan is to keep expanding,’ she said.
She has had help, particularly from her late husband Rob, who recently died aged 51, and her 10 employees.
‘My husband would help me with everything,’ she said.
‘He would come straight from work and we would stay in the workshop until 10 at night making the outlines.
‘All the girls here knew him.
‘He was a big part of making all this happen.’
Beverly said she was excited to see all her hard work in action.
She said: ‘This event is huge thing for the dancers and they are all so proud to be representing our country and, of course, we are proud that they will be wearing garments made here in Portsmouth.’