Former Warrnambool dancer Beata Khaidurova has taken her passion to new heights.
The 29-year-old was named in the world’s top dancers last week when her team won gold in the world modern jive championships in Blackpool.
The Latvia-born Victorian, who has been dancing for more than two decades, began her training at Warrnambool’s Melissa’s Dance Elements in 1996.
Dance studio owner Melissa Dance said the win was no surprise.
“I’m absolutely thrilled for Beata,” she said. “She always had that WOW factor.”
Beata’s mother Oksana Khaidurova, said the win was a dream come true for her daughter.
“She has been winning competitions in Australia and New Zealand for a few years now but this is her first world title.”
Mrs Khaidurova said her daughter’s love of dancing had begun at an early age.
“After she was born in 1988 she wasn’t breathing for a long time,” she said. “The doctors thought she would probably have brain damage if she survived.”
Beata did survive and showed no sign of any long-term damage.
“When she was two months old the doctors thought she wouldn’t walk because her leg muscles were under developed.
“They thought she might limp at best, but not walk.”
Months later the family worked to disprove doctors theories.
“At eight months Beata began walking,” she said. “She walked around on her tip-toes for a while but maybe that was because she was becoming a dancer.
“She walked around the house on her tip-toes for years,” she said. “We’d always tell her ‘take off your high heels’.”
Beata Khaidurova now lives in Melbourne and is an accomplished dancer and model.