A DOVERIDGE dancer has beat off stiff competition to be named the winner for her waltz in a prestigious Blackpool competition.
Rebecca Mallinson competed in the 2012 ISTD Ballroom and Latin American Grand Finals, at the Wintergardens Empress Ballroom, in Blackpool, and out-danced the competition to be named the winner in the over 50s waltz category.
The 53-year-old took part in the competition as part of the Gottadance School team, who saw the school beat their 2011 results where the highest placing was fourth.
Ms Mallinson said: “I was a bit surprised when they said I had won, I thought someone else must have the same name. I was in a bit of a daze.
“I could not believe it, it was brilliant. It is something I will never forget.”
The dancer only joined the team two-and-a-half years ago but it is the second time she has made it to the Blackpool competition, which requires competing across the country first to earn a place.
However, no stranger to dancing, Ms Mallinson did ballet from when she was two until her teenage years, when she grew too tall to carry on.
She said: “I did a lot of dancing when I was younger, but I had not done it for a while.”
Ms Mallinson got back into dancing after seeing trainers Glenn and Nikki Badham perform at a charity dinner at Pride Park with her daughter Eleanor.
Her daughter decided to join first and it was while watching her compete that she was encouraged to give it a go as well.
The dancer added: “You start at a social level and do exams and compete against people in your age category and then you get the ticket for Blackpool.
“It is quite a commitment as you have classes during the week and then if you want to get better you have to have private lessons.”
Speaking of her win Ms Mallinson said: “I am pleased to get the recognition for the class as there is a lot of tough competition out there.”
Ms Mallinson was awarded a trophy and blue sash for winning her category.
The Gottadance team teaches at Burton Town Hall on Tuesday evenings, with private tuition available. More information is available from Mr Badham on 07712 310399.