Central Hawke's Bay highland dancer Katie Reisima knew she'd had a successful five-week trip to compete in Australia, Scotland and the UK when she tried to bring back all her trophies - they wouldn't fit in her luggage.

"My family in the UK really appreciated being able to hold on to some of my trophies and being able to celebrate my success," said Reisima, who had to leave some trophies with her British grandparents.

The CHB College Year 13 student left the country already ranked the country's best highland dancer, after winning the 16 and over premiership and championship titles at the two-day New Zealand Highland and National Dancing Championships held in New Plymouth in July.

Departing in late August, she started her trip in the best possible fashion, taking out three sections on her way to claiming the 16-17 year championship title at the 11th SOBHD International Highland Festival of Dancing Australia in Gosford, NSW, to lay claim to the title of the best highland dancer for her age in Australasia.

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From there she went on to compete in various competitions in the UK before taking on the world's best at the 2017 Cowal Highland Gathering in Scotland.

After some encouraging results, including a fifth among the overseas competitors at the British Open Championships, she went on to Cowal - the world championships of highland dancing and the world's biggest highland games - where she almost surprised herself by making the 20-strong field for the junior world championship final.

"Even though I was insanely nervous I was beyond excited to dance among the world's best. I was also stoked to receive championship points in one of my dances to put me into the top 16."

This was her fifth year travelling overseas to compete. But after returning last month ranked in the top 16 highland dancers in the world for her age based on her result at Cowal, Reisima said it had been her most successful year by far since taking up highland dancing at the age of 8.

"I had a fantastic time and really pushed myself while I was there. Qualifying to dance in the junior world championship final was an absolute privilege," she said.

Heading off to university next year, Reisima said she planned to compete in Australia again next year but doubted she would return to Scotland.

Instead, she was targeting a highland championship event in Paris at the end of 2018.

"That would be pretty cool to compete in," she said.