Millie McCallum achieves her dream by winning medals at the Cowal Highland Games

AN EIGHT-year-old dancer from Dalry fulfilled ‘every Highland dancer’s dream’ last month as she returned from the world’s biggest event the Highland Games with half a dozen medals in hand.

Millie McCallum started dancing when she was just two years old, after she was “impressed by her older sister Lucy’s dancing”.

Her mother Victoria told the Herald how Millie started competing just after her fourth birthday and grew from a shy little dancer to a very confident eight-year-old.

“It comes through in every one of his dances,” she said. “Lucy was very good at encouraging Millie when she was so young and continues to support her today.”

Millie’s latest competition saw her head to the Cowal Highland Games in Dunoon – known as ‘the biggest and most spectacular Highland Games in the world’.

The best Highland dancers from around the world come to compete at Cowal, so it’s fair to say winning a medal is no small feat.

But young Dalry didn’t just win one medal, she won six – finishing half a dozen times in the under-10 category.

This allowed him not only to win six medals, but also to win the sixth place trophy overall at the Scottish Open and the fifth place trophy at the Scottish National Championship.

It’s been a tough journey to get to this point for Millie, who has already had to go through some tough times during her short dance journey.

Mum Victoria explained: ‘Covid has ruined the future of many dancers as they lost interest by not going to dance practice, but luckily for Millie that was not the case.

“During lockdown Millie was doing her dance practices on Zoom and even outside and had some fun challenges.

“These fun events were organized by her dance teachers and were much appreciated as they kept Millie and Lucy interested and motivated during the pandemic.”

She added that she was delighted to see all of her daughter’s hard work paying off and that Millie was only just beginning to understand what she had achieved.

She added: “Millie was thrilled with her Cowal awards! It finally sank on Sunday night when she announced ‘I can’t believe I have two Cowal Trophies and six Cowal Medals’.

While this is all the result of a lot of hard work and dedication on Millie’s part, Victoria also wanted to thank those who have helped her on her journey so far.

She said: “All of Millie’s success would not have been possible without the support of her incredible dance teacher, Linda Nixon, who spends hours and hours training hard with Millie to help her achieve her dreams.

“Millie and her family would like to give special thanks to Millie’s dance teacher, Linda, and Maryann McCreadie for her excellent contribution. Congratulations Millie!”

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Jennifer R. Strohm