First place win at worldwide contest

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An eight-year-old girl who dances with an academy in Kimberley won first place in a worldwide competiton held in Blackpool.

Louisa Staley – who was competing for the very first time – won the under ten category at the Freestyle World Championships, hosted at the Blackpool Winter Gardens.

Louisa’s mum, Michelle, said her daughter was up against dancers from Norway and South Africa who trained everyday and who had competed many times before.

“She was up against girls from Norway and South Africa who train every day. They are regimented with it out there – it’s very different,” said Michelle.

“Dancers from those areas take home most of the trophies so I’m so proud of her.

Michelle, of Greenhills Road, Eastwood, said the Dance Energy group where her daughter trains is equally proud of her.

“She’s only been dancing for a couple of years, but the last year or so she has just flown through everything and done really, really well.

“To make a final at that sort of age and that level is really quite an achievement.

“It’s just an honour. The dance school is so proud of her. She is so young and it’s such a hard thing to go through. It’s a massive place and it’s very daunting.

Held last weekend, the Saturday was dedicated to street and slow dancing and the Sunday solo freestyle.

The girls repeatedly dance in rounds before they are knocked out or whittled down to the final.

Louisa danced eight times before taking home the winning trophy in the intermediate under ten category.