Isla is the world champ

Isla won the world championship for under 8s.
Isla won the world championship for under 8s.

A Whitley Bay schoolgirl has been crowned the world champion for her age group at a dance contest.

Isla Mae Simpson took the title at the Freestyle Dance Championships at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

The seven-year-old, a pupil at Southridge First School, has only been dancing for the last three years, but has progressed so much that she took the title for the under-eight age group, in June.

Isla dances with Dance Wild in Thornaby and travels there from her Whitley Bay home three to four times a week to train.

She also takes part in gymnastics all day on a Saturday to help with technical moves in her dancing.

Mum Joanne said: “She just loves to dance. She doesn’t see it as a chore, it is all she wants to do. At home she is always practising and learning diferent moves.

“It has really brought on her confidence as well. She was very shy and at first would just sit on my knee at dance classes.

“But she has progressed so much and now gets up on stage in front of thousands of people. It’s like a different little person.”

Isla has broken her hand and cannot train at the moment and mum Jo added: “It has been so hard for her, all she wants to do is dance.”