Europe’s top Highland dancer is from Linlithgow

090512 Leaha batchelor.
090512 Leaha batchelor.

A YOUNG Highland dancer from Linlithgow is making her mark on the international stage with wins at the European championships last month.

Leaha Batchelor is only eight, but with four years of Highland dancing under her belt, she made it all count when she won the Pre Championship contest on April 1 and the Championships on April 29, in Aberdeen.

Dance teacher Laura Gregory, who has her own dance school in Falkirk, is amazed at the youngster’s talent.

She said: “Leaha has only been in premier grade for a month, and she has won this already. She has won thousands of medals and trophies at every competition she has entered which is quite an achievement for an eight year old - I am very proud of her.

‘‘She is very determined and works hard - it’s not often a girl comes along like that.”

Leaha, a P4 pupil at Linlithgow Primary, competes almost every weekend and the next big date in her diary is the world title bid at Cowal Highland Gathering in August - considered to be the biggest Highland games in the world. Mum Karen, dad Colin and brother Ryan (11), who live at Braehead Terrace, support her all the way.

Karen said: “Leaha loves dancing and has done really well since she first started. But as you get older it gets harder, and she has done really well.

“It’s a big commitment but it’s a big social event for her as well - she’s got a lot of friends at dancing - and she enjoys it. At the moment she’s having a limo party that I promised she could have if she won the championship!”