Dancer brings home World Champion title

Ellis Hayes
Ellis Hayes

A YOUNG Newton Stewart dancer has ranked amongst the dancing elite by bringing home titles of Juvenile Highland Dance World Champion and Scottish Champion in one weekend.

Ellis Hayes, 13, from Corvisel Road danced against the world’s best - who had come from New Zealand, Canada, the US and closer to home - at the Cowal Highland Gathering in Dunoon last weekend.

But only one could take the title and the accomplished performer wowed the judges to take the trophy, which now takes her championship wins to 43 in just three years.

Over 650 dancers converge on the show annually to contest the most important date on the Highland Dancing calendar.

Ellis competed on the Friday in the 13-years age group and won the Scottish Championship with four first-place gold medals and thus qualified for the World Championship - also taking in the news that she had been awarded the title of dancer with most points in the Scottish championships.

The top four dancers in her age group qualify to compete in the Juvenile World Championships (15yrs and under) along with another 16 top dancers.

After dancing four dances and being judged by 12 different judges Ellis was awarded the World Championship title and was presented with her trophy by Blythe Duff from Taggart who was Chieftain of the Games.

Ellis has been dancing since she was five, having started her dancing career at the Wallace School of Dance in Stranraer where she was taught by Mrs Bowie and then progressed to the Fiona MacNeil School of Dance in Newton Mearns Glasgow. Ellis travels a 200-mile round trip twice a week to train with her teacher Fiona MacNeil and also spends many hours in the car travelling to compete in championships all over the UK. Ellis was a former pupil of Penninghame Primary and now attends Kirkcudbright Academy.