A TEENAGE dancer struck gold with her team at a world championships in Portugal.

Emily Gardner, from Leigh, was part of Team England's Liverpool-based Jelli Studios in the Dance World Cup, which featured 63 countries.

The team won gold in the Large Group Showdance and silver in the Large Group Commercial category.

Leigh Journal:

Emily, 17, said: "I was so excited to represent Jelli Studios and Team England for the first time, and to come away with a silver and gold medal with my teammates was a dream.

"I am so grateful to all my teachers at Jelli for helping to make this happen."

On the way to their Large Group Showdance success, Emily's team performed a Toy Story themed routine that wowed judges, who awarded a score of 99.7 out of 100.

Leigh Journal:

Emily performing in the Toy Story routine, stood to the left of Woody

Leigh Journal:

Emily with her teammate Morgan Leigh Jones

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Former St Mary's Catholic High School pupil Emily also goes to college at Jelli Studios and is completing a BTEC.

Her mum Helen, 49, went to the competition to watch her in action.

She said: "I am really proud of Emily, she is so determined and hardworking.

"The hours she put into training for the World Cup was massive.

"She would leave the house at 7am and often didn't get home until 10pm."

Emily begun dancing aged five at Northern Starr in Leigh.