A DANCER from Port Glasgow is the best in the west after winning her first major title at Gourock Highland Games.

Schoolgirl Olivia Sharpe took a step in the right direction after picking up a top trophy at the event.

The 12-year-old was crowned West of Scotland Highland Dancing Champion 2019 in the under-14s category, which included 26 other competitors from around the country.

It was the first big win for the St Stephen's High pupil and sets her up nicely for the rest of the outdoor season and a trip to Las Vegas in July.

Olivia, who lives in Oronsay, who was fourth last year at U12s, has been dancing since the age of six and trains twice a week and competes at least once at weekends.

Olivia said: "It's worth it when I do well.

"I didn't think I had any chance because it was 12 and 13-year-olds in the group and 26 in total.

"This one is important because it's local.

"I like going out and competing and the friends I've made from dancing."

Olivia is taught by Jacqueline Deeney, who also enjoyed success at the Gourock Games and is a former world champion.

She said: "Olivia's been getting in the top six in the championship circuit but this is the first time taking first place.

"I won at Gourock myself a long time ago so it was quite emotional all round. "It's extra-special to win on home turf."

There were four dances and Olivia had two first place finishes, a second and a fourth culminating in top spot overall.

She was presented with the winner's trophy and another which she can keep.

She will be going to Vegas in July for the US Inter-Regional Highland Dance Championship, having taken part in the event in Florida last year.

She has also competed in Ireland, Arran and trained in Spain.

Her family, including mum Linda, were thrilled with her success at Battery Park.

Linda said: "Olivia works hard for it.

"It's a big commitment, especially because her friends don't do it so when they're going to parties and other things she has commitments. "A big thank-you goes to her dance teacher for all her hard work and support."