Haverhill dancer Grace Claydon-Smith wins ISTD National Under-16 Latin title at Blackpool Winter Gardens
A teenager from Haverhill has danced her way to an impressive second national title in the past three years.
Grace Claydon-Smith, aged 14, triumphed in the finals of the ISTD National Under-16 Latin championships last Saturday at the Blackpool Winter Gardens - where she also reached the Ballroom final.
The Samuel Ward Academy student, of Bellings Road, won the same title in the Under-12 category two years ago and only missed out on a tilt at the title last year because of injury.
Having already qualified for Blackpool through regional competitions, Grace had to get through two heats, a semi final and final on Saturday. She danced the rumba.
Grace’s mum Tracy said: “Her teachers seem to think she has something special, so we are hoping it’s enough to get here where she wants to be.
“She’s definitely got the drive and the hunger for it and if you’ve got that you are half way there.”
Grace is a student at the Lait Dance School in Ipswich and competes on the open circuit.
Her teacher, Bruce Lait, partners her in the Stars of the Future international pro-am competitions, where this year she has won three Latin U14 titles, one pro-am and two solo.
Grace has also secured sponsorship and gets support from Elaine Davis Dance Design (for the dresses), Tanya Evans @ Lashings of Lashes and Blue Streak Crystals.
Follow Grace’s progress on Instagram @grace_dancex.