Sophie wears win really well
Eastern Southland has a new national champion.
Gore 7-year-old Sophie Davis has taken out the gold medal against 30 opponents in the under-8 section of the National Highland Dancing Championships in Blenheim.
But the event was about more than just victory for Sophie.
Competing made her feel good and she made friends.
"I just feel good about myself," she said of her time on stage.
"I don't like the practice but I like the competitions."
She won three sections in her age group and was second in another three sections, claiming the overall title.
Sophie's mother, Jayne Davis, herself a dancer in her youth, said her daughter's victory was based on lots of practice, determination and a never-give-up attitude.
"She's determined and strong and she likes to win."
Sophie goes to dance lessons once a week and practises at home twice a week, with her preparation for the national's rounded off by attending regular dance competitions in the lower South Island.
Sophie's mum, and dad Damian, were proud of their daughter.
"She did very well, there was a lot of hard work put in," Jayne Davis said.
Not resting on her laurels, the youngster - who also does ballet and plays hockey - was back at dance practice this week.