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

Millie McCallum started dancing aged just two, having “been in awe of her elder sister Lucy’s dancing”.

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

“This shines through in each of her 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 “largest, most spectacular Highland Games in the world”.

The best Highland dancers from across the globe come to Cowal compete, so it’s fair to say winning a medal is no mean feat.

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

That resulted in her bringing home not only six medals, but gaining the trophy for sixth overall in the Scottish Open Championship and fifth place trophy in the Scottish National Championship.

It has been a tough journey to get to this stage for Millie, who has already had to battle through some challenging times in her short dancing journey.

Mum Victoria explained: “Covid spoiled a lot of dancers’ futures as they lost interest by not getting to dance practices, but thankfully for Millie this was not the case.

“During lockdown Millie was doing her dance practices on Zoom and even outdoors and had a few fun challenges.

“These fun events were organised by her dance teachers and were very much appreciated, as it kept Millie and Lucy interested and motivated during the pandemic.”

She added her delight in seeing all her daughter’s hard work pay off, and that Millie has only just began to grasp what she has achieved.

She added: “Millie was delighted with her Cowal awards! It finally sunk in on Sunday night when she announced ‘I can’t actually believe I have got two Cowal trophies and six Cowal medals’.”

Although this has all come through a lot of hard work and dedication on Millie’s part, Victoria was also keen 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 amazing dance teacher, Linda Nixon, who spends hours upon hours training hard with Millie to help her achieve her dreams.

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