MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A 15-year-old Myrtle Beach dancer is reaching new heights while pursuing her passion.

Earlier this month, Siena España returned to the Grand Strand from overseas, in Finland, after competing in the Helsinki International Ballet Competition. The coveted competition only accepts the best of the best.

Siena started dancing when she was just 3 years old. It was a hobby she started while performing with her parents.

“I first started taking ballet class with my mom when I was on the circus,” España said. “My parents were traveling performers and I would do ballet class with her and she was my teacher.”

Dancing became Siena’s passion, and as she became older, she gained aspirations to turn her hobby into a career.

“My goal is to dance in a professional company and to dance professionally in Europe, but to be able to dance anywhere professionally is really an honor,” she said.

One of Siena’s performances at the Helsinki International Dance Competition. Courtesy: Photographer Roosa Oksaharju, Helsinki, Finland

Siena got a taste of that goal when she was asked to participate in the Hesinki International Ballet Competition.

“At 15, she’s one of the youngest in the competition,” said Liza Mata, Siena’s coach and the Executive Director of Coastal Dance Centre, where Siena is a member. “So she has brought honor not just to herself, not just to her family, but the community here.”

Siena’s talent shined while she competed.

“There were three rounds in the competition,” España said. “The first round, I competed two classical variations. In the second round I competed a contemporary piece and the third round I competed two more classical variations.”

Siena made it to the end of the competition and was asked to perform in the gala, a prestigious privilege.

Siena performed in three categories. She has experience in ballet, tap, and jazz. Photographer Roosa Oksaharju, Helsinki, Finland

“You give her a correction; she will take it,” Mata said. “She listens and she doesn’t show an attitude. If she does, that’s very rare.”

Mata says Siena’s humility will take her far in her dancing career. The high school Sophomore is also balancing school work online and practice.

She has this advice for young dancers.

“If you have a dream and you just want it so bad, you’ll be able to do it with hard work and as much as you love it, you’ll be able to get there.”

Siena was asked to perform in the gala at the Helsinki International Dance Competition in Finland. Photographer Roosa Oksaharju, Helsinki, Finland

Next month, Siena is going to the Dutch National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam on scholarship, but she will have other expenses. She set up a GoFundMe.