Young Harborough dancer wins a staggering two world titles, three gold medals and a silver medal at the Dance World Cup
Grace Burrows also helped to fire England to a successful defence of their World Cup crown
A superstar young Market Harborough dancer has won a staggering two world titles, three gold medals and a silver medal at the Dance World Cup.
Brilliant Grace Burrows, 14, also helped to fire England to a successful defence of their World Cup crown as she danced her socks off at the ‘Olympics for dancers’.
The supremely-talented Robert Smyth Academy student is now aiming to carve out a sensational career dancing and performing in the West End – along with her equally-gifted older sister Milly, 17.
Grace’s elated stepdad Peter Dougan, 54, said: “My wife Catherine and I are so proud of Grace – as a family we couldn’t be any prouder.
“She has competed in the World Cup against some of the best dancers on the globe – and she’s come home with two world titles, three gold medals and a silver medal.
“It’s just absolutely phenomenal!
“The competition was due to be held last summer but had to be postponed because of the Covid pandemic,” said Peter, who’s a director of Corby-based Traffco Ltd, which imports and sells low loader trailers.
“And that’s a shame because Milly would have competed for England as well last year.
“She missed out this summer because she’s been focusing on her A-level schoolwork at Robert Smyth.
“But Milly’s also a fantastic dancer – and the two sisters support each other every inch and step of the way.”
Peter said Grace has been dancing and putting her best foot forward since she started walking.
“Grace picked it straight up when she was just two or three.
“She saw that Milly was already dancing – so you could say that Milly helped inspire her.
“And it’s been Grace’s overwhelming passion ever since, she just loves to dance.
“The organisers of the World Cup were adamant that the 120,000 competitors who had auditioned to qualify for last year’s event from 62 countries should not miss out.
“So they postponed it until this summer when it was deemed safer to go ahead,” said Peter, who said Grace and Milly train at least 24 hours a week at the Jordon School of Dance and performing arts in Halesowen.
“The format had to be modified to allow competitors from all over the world to compete.
“They ruled that those who could come would attend the live six-day event in Telford and those who still had travel restrictions would submit their live performances via video.
“The organisers then decided to award gold, silver and bronze medals for both live and video performances separately, with the overall highest marks across the live and video performances, forming the overall world positions.
“Grace was chosen to dance four solos of different genres for England.
“She won gold medals for her Acro, Lyrical and Ballet performances and a silver medal for her show dance at the live event.
“And on top of that Grace was also crowned world champion for her Acro and Lyrical performances,” added Peter.
“That meant she picked up the highest marks across all live and video participants.
“And she was placed 4th in the world for her ballet, behind the hugely-strong Spanish and Portuguese - who have won this section for the last nine years.
“To cap off an incredible week, Grace was also invited to dance at the closing gala.
“That amazing honour is only awarded to those winning performances which secured a mark above 90 per cent.
“Grace achieved this in both her Acro and Lyrical dances and performed both at the gala.
“There she was awarded further accolades from the adjudicators for best solo performance of the competition for her Acro dance,” said Peter.
“Grace also won most outstanding girl performer of the World Cup and a special award - The Jessica Hill award - for the overall best dance.
“That was again for her Acro performance, which scored a stunning 94.9 per cent - the highest solo mark in the children’s section of the competition.
“Grace is already working flat out back in training to retain her titles at next year’s event at San Sebastien in Spain in June 2022.
“She’s obviously richly talented but Grace is also very humble and very down to earth – she doesn’t make a song and dance about how well she’s done.
“We’d also like to salute the staff at Robert Smyth for allowing them to go and train so hard every week as long as they also apply themselves in the classroom,” said Peter.
“Both Grace and Milly hope to go on to dance college before launching careers as dancers and performers in London’s West End.
“They are both so dedicated, committed, disciplined and hard-working – and we are sure that they’ll go on to achieve what ever they want to.”