Delight as Lily competes in world tap dancing contest

Lily Clifton with her tap shoes

Lily Clifton performing at the championships

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter, also covering West Oxford. Call me on (01865) 425437

TALENTED teen tap dancer Lily Clifton was leaping all the way home from the World Tap Dancing Championships.

The 13-year-old was the youngest dancer on the England team which competed in the finals at the tournament in Riesa in Germany last month.

As part of the Junior Trio category she came sixth as she danced alongside Olivia Huckvale, from Leicester, and Brittani Ferneyhough, from Gloucester.

The girls faced dancers from the United States, Croatia, Switzerland, Canada, South Africa and Australia.

Lily, 13, of Whitehouse Road, Woodcote, said the experience was “amazing” but admitted to a few nerves beforehand.

The St Helen & St Katharine School, Abingdon pupil said: “It was a great experience. The first time up on stage was a bit scary, because it was so big, but it was amazing.

“I liked being able to perform in front of so many people and to be able to get to meet lots of different people from different countries.

“I didn’t think I would get as far as I did so it was great.

“We had a really big party when it all finished. There were so many people from all over the world and it was great to meet them all.”

Lily beat off competition from hundreds of other girls to be part of the England team.

Mother Sam, who runs Dance Connection at Oxford Greyhound stadium, where Lily trains, said: “It was just the best experience for Lily.

“I lost my voice because I was cheering so much for her and the rest of the team. We all had a great time.”

After school, the youngster wants to go to dance college and pursue a career in dance.

England head coach Jo Scanlan said: “Lily has worked extremely hard to firstly be selected for this year’s England Team, and then showed great determination and sacrifice.

“There were around 2,000 tap dancers from nearly 20 countries and Lily should be very proud of her achievement.”

This years championships were the most successful for the England Team, which won six world titles, two silver medals and two bronze medals.

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