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Shelby floors contest with her light step

Shelby Wheeler puts in her all on the dance floor in Gympie.
Shelby Wheeler puts in her all on the dance floor in Gympie.

SHELBY Wheeler has only been competing in professional ballroom dancing for the past year, but the Emerald local has proven she can certainly come home with the goods.

The 19-year-old recently travelled to Gympie to compete in the Cooloola Classic against some tough competition from around the Brisbane area and took out three top gongs.

Shelby placed first in the new vogue, standard and Latin sections, and said she was absolutely thrilled with the result.

"It was a bit of a surprise, I was very, very happy," she said.

"I really enjoyed it and it was a great competition."

While Shelby admitted it was a bit of a mission driving down to Gympie on the Friday and leaving on Saturday night after the competition, she said it was well worth it.

"You've just got to go down there open minded and do your best, if you win that's just an added bonus," she said.

"The competitors are always a bit tough, but also really friendly."

Shelby was first introduced to ballroom dancing by a friend about six years ago and has developed a real passion for the sport.

"It's a bit adrenalin pumping because you've got all these people judging you - it's pretty fulfilling," she said. "All I want to do is dance and I want to see where it takes me."

Shelby plans to stay in Emerald for a while longer, but hopes to move to Rockhampton down the track to further her dancing career.

"I think it's just such a beautiful sport, definitely one thing I love is the costumes and the music," she said.

"I really hope to one day have a full time partner to practice and compete in competitions with."


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