Hours of practice paid off at last for Year 8 Mia B when she won a medal for England at the Dance World Cup in Spain this month.
Mia took bronze in the Children Solo Ballet category at the championships in San Sebastian, Spain, and was part of the England contingent that also went on to win the Cup, beating 61 other countries.
More than 125,000 competitors attempt to represent their country in the DWC, which has been described as the Olympics of Dance.
On top of winning bronze in her solo event, Mia was also part of five dance groups over the course of the competition and took one gold, three silvers and a sixth place for those events – all contributing to England’s overall success.
Mia’s mum Cat said: “Mia has been dancing since she was two and a half and she trains on average 20 hours per week in classes and will have rehearsals for the competition team or exams on top of that – so she is at the studio 6 days a week. She studies classical ballet, pointe work, contemporary, jazz, modern, tap, conditioning and strength and pilates for ballet!”
Mia, who also trained as an associate of the Royal Ballet School, added: “I was so excited to learn that I had qualified to represent England at the Dance World Cup, especially with my ballet solo because I have a huge love for ballet and to do a solo is such a privilege. It was an amazing experience.
“I wanted to enjoy it so I practised a lot with my teachers and was ready to go out and take it all in. I was focused on doing the best I could on the day and coming away with a great memory. It was lovely to meet dancers from other countries and see the other girls from England. Everyone was really friendly and supportive of each other. When I heard my name called out for bronze, I was absolutely over the moon! To be there at all was something I was very proud of – but to get a medal and points for my country was really exciting. Being able to travel to Spain with my friends in our England kit was amazing and I’m very grateful.”
Burgess Hill Girls Head Liz Laybourn said: “What an amazing achievement – Mia’s hard work and dedication to her art has paid dividends and we are incredibly proud of her. It can’t be easy doing all that training and takes great focus. Well done, Mia.”