TAP sensation Gabriella White has been officially named the best in her age group in the world.
The 16-year-old clinched the best solo tap dance award at this year’s Dance World Cup in Villach, Austria.
Gabriella’s two-minute tap dance routine to the Jamie Cullum song Wheels saw her beat hundreds of performers of all ages to the prize.
Her performance was also voted the best solo performance across all styles of junior dance on the day by a panel of four international judges.
And she managed to retain her title as the best tap dancer in the 14 to 17 age group after she won it at last year’s Dance World Cup in Sardinia, Italy.
Gabriella, who attends Jean Marks School of Dance, in Goldsmith Avenue, Southsea, has been dancing since she was two.
She said: ‘The success hasn’t quite sunk in, I still can’t believe it was me that won. Dancing is my life. It’s my passion and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.
‘I love the buzz and the adrenaline you get from it. It’s addictive.
‘In ten years’ time I would love to see myself continuing to graft and performing on a top stage.
‘I just need to continue working hard and keeping focused.’
Gabriella, of Hedge End, reached the final stages of the competition after going through a series of heats, where she was pitted against scores of other performers.
She was awarded two trophies and a gold medal for coming out on top in the final.
And now Gabriella is planning to embark on a three-year musical theatre diploma course at a theatre college this September.
Proud mum Karen White, 50, said: ‘I’m extremely proud of her – she works incredibly hard so she deserves every success. Everyone is behind her and wants her to achieve the most she can in life.’
‘Dancing is something she has always wanted to do. She loves performing and being on stage.
Karen, who used to dance on cruise ships, added: ‘I sometimes get just as nervous as she does.
‘The final was wonderful. When she won they played the national anthem which made it a very prestigious moment.’