A GIFTED young dancer with type one diabetes has celebrated her recent success at an international dance competition.

Erika Porter, 13, from Darlington, travelled to Glasgow over the August Bank Holiday with her dance school, Dimensions Dance, to compete in the United Dance Organisation World Street Dance Championships.

Five years ago, when she was seven, she competed solo in the same tournament but suffered an epileptic seizure moments before she was due to perform.

However, the determined youngster went on stage despite this and beat 30 other competitors to come second in her age group.

This year, Erika returned to the championship for the first time in five years to compete in the duo category with her partner Daniel Charlton, 14, where they came second in the under-16 intermediate group.

She also entered the team category alongside her peers in a troupe called Hustlers, coming third in the under-18 intermediates.

Although Erika deals with type one diabetes, meaning her blood sugar levels must be regularly monitored, her mother, Paula Porter, said this does not stop her from training three to four times a week.

She said: “Erika has grown out of her epilepsy, but she’s had diabetes since she was five.

“We check her blood sugar levels six, seven or eight times a day. Every time she eats it has to be monitored. It’s really full-on but she never stops.

“Dancing is all she ever does, she even does it when we’re in the supermarket.”

Erika and her dance school are currently training with the Britain’s Got Talent dance group Flawless to perform at Yarm Auditorium on September 23.

The Longfield Academy pupil was also asked by her school to perform at its open day for year 6 pupils.

Mrs Porter added: “She’s done regional competitions in between now and five years ago, and she will be going to London soon to do some training there. Everybody that meets her asks, ‘Still dancing Erika?’

“She had a relapse last year and was hospitalised, but still nothing stops her. Even if her blood sugars are wrong she’ll say, ‘Give me a quick fix I need to go on’. It’s a massive inspiration to other children who suffer from an illness and even to children who have nothing medically wrong with them.

“I couldn’t be more proud, I’m just bursting with it. She’s a little superstar.”