Glenalmond pupil Stella R is over the moon having just heard she has earned a place in Team Scotland for the Dance World Cup 2021!
Around 120,000 dancers from 62 countries usually take part in the competition and 16-year-old Stella is the first girl from Perthshire to have been selected to represent Scotland.
The Dance World Cup is scheduled to take place in July in Spain, although due to COVID uncertainty there is the real possibility that the World Cup will be postponed this year.
Whatever the timing of the event, Stella is thrilled to have made it to the final cut to represent Scotland at this prestigious event, likened to the Olympics of the world of dance.
Stella, who has been dancing since she was aged three, says she enjoys a range of dance, including tap, ballet, hip-hop, jazz and many more.
She joined Glenalmond College in Second Form, having previously attended the Royal Dunkeld School, and has been dancing with Perth-based MPD Scotland Dance School for 13 years.
Her dancing was judged, initially in video form, by five judges from around the world. When she got through the initial round, competing against 100,000s of others, she would usually have danced live in front of the second round judging panel. However, COVID restrictions meant this was not possible, so she submitted a further video which again impressed the judges.
According to Stella, Glenalmond College has been fantastic at giving her the flexibility she has needed to train four or five times a week, as well as staying focused on her academic and other school activities. She said the school "couldn't have been more supportive" and thanked staff and her friends for all their support.
However, her personal determination to succeed and commitment to tackling challenges in her training have also stood her in very good stead in the highly competitive world of dance.
She said she plans to continue dancing but her focus in the coming years will be very much on making the most of her final years at Glenalmond as, while she would always like to dance for enjoyment, she hopes to pursue a career as a criminologist.
Our congratulations to Stella and very best wishes for the Dance World Cup!