Morgan Bamford has danced her way to the top of the world.
The 20-year-old New Plymouth woman is in high spirits after being named the world champion of highland dancing.
Over the past 13 years she has won every other major title at the Cowal Highland Games in Scotland and said taking out the final top level award was a dream come true.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet. When it was announced I started shaking and crying.
"It's the best feeling," she said.
The latest in the string of titles has made Bamford a recordholder.
"I'm the first person to ever win every single class."
Bamford, who has been dancing since she was a toddler, has attended the Scotland event since she was 8 years old.
This year a backstage fall nearly stopped her from reaching her goal.
Just before the qualifying heats the highland dancer slipped on a patch of wet floor backstage and hurt her tailbone.
"It was a bit painful for the first dance but then I got used to it," she said.
Bamford, who trained under Judy Clark, said she enjoyed the qualifiers more than the grand final.
"The stress and the nerves got to me. It was quite a bit of pressure."
Getting ready to compete against the top 90 highland dancers in the world was a long process and required training twice a day, every day.
"I worked really hard."
Bamford has no plans to travel back to Scotland and defend her title. I'll go out on a high note.
"I have a dance school now and I have some students who I can focus on taking over to the world champs," she said.
Collecting first place for every category possible is no easy feat.
Grants from the TSB Community Trust and Dame Malvina Major Foundation had helped in the last three years.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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