A stage-struck Wiltshire schoolgirl has tap danced her way to become a world champion just four days after her 12th birthday.

Amelie Smith from Derry Hill near Calne has been crowned the Children’s Solo Female World Champion at the 2022 International Dance Organization World Tap Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, which took place from November 22-26.


The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Amelie Smith is crowned the IDO World Tap Championship title winner for the Children's Solo Female categoryAmelie Smith is crowned the IDO World Tap Championship title winner for the Children's Solo Female category (Image: International Dance Organization)

She's only the second British girl to win the IDO Children's Solo category. She also won silver with her children's group and came 6th with her duo partner.

“It was amazing and is still hard for me to process and to think that it actually happened,” said Amelie, who started tap dancing at the age five after seeing a show at Swindon’s Wyvern Theatre.

“The feeling when I was dancing on stage and then going back to receive the gold medal was absolutely amazing. I just could not believe it actually happened. It’s crazy.”

Her mother, Kathryn Peters-Smith, said: “When she walked out on to the stage to take a bow, draped in the union jack flag, we have never seen her smile so huge while at the same time crying happy tears and a look of utter shock.

“When they announced silver and we knew she was world champion, our hearts were full of admiration for our little girl achieving her dreams from three years ago.

“It's terrifying as a parent to watch, you are completely powerless to help your child in that moment. She was up on the world stage and danced like a dream.”

Mrs Peters-Smith added: “The competition comprises of three rounds where only the top 12 go through to the semi-final and then the top six go through to the final round.  

“In each round Amelie stepped up her game and in the final she danced beautifully.”

Around 1,300 dancers aged 10 to 21 from 18 countries took part in the IDO World Tap Championships. Team GB brought home four gold medals, seven silver medals and five bronze medals.

After finding that she wanted to dance, Amelie successfully auditioned at the age of seven for the Tap Attack Dance School in Swindon run by Jo Scanlan where her solo dances are choreographed by her teacher Jessica Jo Marshall.

Tap Attack is one of the world’s most-renowned tap dancing specialist training centres, and comprises a performance company, a UK national training programme, and is the home of the Great Britain tap dancing team.

Her success is an amazing achievement for Amelie, a Year 7 pupil at Sheldon School in Chippenham, as both the 2020 and 2021 World Tap Championships were cancelled because of the Covid pandemic.

In June 2022, she was one of a very small group of nine soloists representing Team GB at the IDO European Tap Championships in Prague, where Amelie came away with the silver medal for the Children's Solo female category.

Amelie is also part of the Stagebox UK performing arts group in London, where she is improving her acting and singing skills. She eventually wants to become a musical theatre professional.

But for now, her most immediate ambition is to be awarded a Gold Blue Peter badge.

Mrs Peters-Smith added: “She loves Blue Peter and has all the badges except orange and gold.

“I promised her during the early days of lockdown that if she ever won the gold medal, I would write to Blue Peter and apply for a gold badge.

“If she were to be awarded one it would take pride of place alongside her gold medal and gold trophy.

“It would represent that you should always pursue your dream no matter what life throws at you and no matter how tough life gets.”