Isle of Lewis dancer Kayleigh Nicolson set out with determination at the weekend for the first step on her road to making a dream come true.
Kayleigh has been selected to join team Scotland in the world dance and cheerleading championships in Orlando, Florida next April.
On Sunday (September 9th) she made the 10-hour journey to Glasgow to join her first practice.
It’s a huge challenge for Kayleigh, who is a coach and dancer for the Western Isles’ only competitive cheer and dance team, Stornoway-based North West Allstars (NWA). Together with Kirstie Anderson from the Hebrides Dance and Wellbeing studio, she’s helped make the NWA team a regular fixture at events and shows in the islands.
But the World Dance and Cheerleading championships is a world away from Perceval Square or island showgrounds. The massive event brings 11,000 cheer and 4,000 dance athletes together in Orlando to vie for titles.
Kayleigh’s selection for Team Scotland came as a surprise, after she submitted a video of an un-choreographed routine at the Hebrides Dance and Wellbeing Studio. She said: “Sent the video off, and away to work I went. I work in the Royal Hotel as assistant manager which I love. At work, my phone beeps, lucky I’m on a break! Kayleigh from Stornoway has made Team Scotland!
“Then the reality hit – I live on an island, training is every second Sunday, how can I make this possible? I will NOT let living on an island stop me from this journey. I want to show all the kids I teach every week that anything is possible once you put your mind to it.”
Kayleigh’s launched an appeal for donors or sponsors to help out with the travel costs she’ll face getting to and from the mainland once a fortnight for training sessions. She’ll also have to contribute to her travel costs to reach the championships themselves.
She said: “As you can imagine worlds is already expensive but living on this island is making it even more expensive. I need help with travel for training before anything at this moment in time. I’m doing it for our island. I’m doing it for our community! With your help, I can make this happen.”
To help support Kayleigh you can contact her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kayleigh.nicolson.35 or make a donation via https://www.gofundme.com/get-kayleigh-to-worlds
Picture shows Kayleigh (left) and her coach and supporter Kirstie Anderson