"My journey into the world of competitive dancing began in February 2014 when, after only a couple of weeks of lessons, my coach Neil entered me into my first competition.
I was really excited by the idea, and even though I was nervous on the day, I absolutely loved it. I had caught the bug for Ballroom and Latin, and caught it badly! Being a bit insecure still about competing, I spoke to Neil a short time afterwards to ask whether I could ever be any good, whether it was worth taking it seriously. He told me that if I worked hard he could have me at the National ISDT Finals in Blackpool by November 2014. I didn’t really believe him or think that was possible, but I was completely addicted to Ballroom and Latin by now and just wanted to keep dancing. So I started attending more classes and having more lessons. I found it was something that I really enjoyed doing and something that was a complete break from my studies. Neil was an incredible coach who somehow managed both to give me the confidence to dance, and to push me to improve, all at the same time.
We attended more competitions, and even though I loved all of them and enjoyed being part of the team, I hadn’t yet reached a final which was starting to make me nervous. In order to compete in the Blackpool finals in November, you have to reach a final in a regional competition throughout the year – it’s the way that you qualify. I was starting to wonder whether it was ever going to happen. And then the Rubies team went to Maidstone.This was my final chance: the last regional competition in which I could qualify to go to Blackpool and I was so nervous. Thankfully, Neil and the rest of the team supported me brilliantly and to my absolute delight, I qualified! I was going to Blackpool and I absolutely couldn’t believe it! The 31st October arrived and after weeks of preparation we were all on our way to Blackpool. I was so excited to see the ballroom for the first time and have the privilege of dancing in such an amazing place. And the Winter Gardens Ballroom did not disappoint.
It was a really magical weekend and a really special place to dance, although I think in my first round I was too nervous to fully appreciate any of it! With the amazing help and support of everyone at Rubies, I was living my dream. And it got even better. I was amazed to reach the semi-finals in my Quickstep and then it was time for the Latin rounds…and I reached the quarter-finals….and then the semi-finals….and then, to my complete amazement, I reached the final!
It is one of my proudest achievements and a bit of a dream come true. I cannot thank Neil enough for training me and for believing in me even when I didn’t. Rubies is a very special place to be part of."