A YOUNG girl has danced her way to victory in a national tap dancing competition.

Matilda ‘Tilly’ Robinson, from Badbury, was thrilled when she was declared the winner of the junior age group of the Imperial Society of Teachers And Dance Tap Challenge.

Ten-year-old Tilly competed against 59 other dancers and was surprised that, despite stiff competition, she was the one who took home the coveted trophy and medal.

She said: “When they called out my number I was really shocked, I couldn’t stop smiling.

“Looking at the audience was like seeing extra judges I had to impress so I had to work extra hard.

“I was a bit nervous before I went on but when I was on stage I just enjoyed it and did the best I could.”

Proud mum Kelly was delighted with her daughter’s win.

The 42-year-old said: “I’m really excited for her, she works really hard and looks like she’s having the time of her life.

“My husband Darren’s super proud of her, too.

“Tilly’s been learning to dance since she was four.

“She’s never been able to sit still so we thought we’d give dancing lessons a go and she’s never looked back.”

In the ISTD Challenge competitors learned a dance then performed it on stage along with a technical sequence, then the 10 best dancers went through to the final where they danced in front of professional judges.

Tilly is a pupil at the Gemma Short School of Dance and Theatre Arts.

She began learning ballet there but changed to tap and loved it.

Gemma said: “I am so proud of Tilly’s fantastic achievement at the ISTD’s Tap Challenge, which is the biggest national tap competitions and one of the most prestigious annual events for the ISTD.

“Tilly always works so hard and has such a passion for dance, she seemed to enjoy every minute.”

Tilly said: “I would have been proud whatever happened but to win was amazing.

“Tap has always been my favourite type of dance.

“I would love to be in the West End and showbiz, then maybe go into teaching.”