Watching her graceful, confident movements as she runs through a ballroom dance routine at Swing & Sway, one would think Aubrey Anderson of Spruce Head had years and years of practice.

But this dancer, who has already taken blue ribbons in a national competition, is only 10 years old and has only been studying ballroom dance for a year.

Anderson, a fourth-grade student at the St. George Elementary School, came to one of Swing & Sway’s showcases in May 2009 to watch her grandmother Joanne Miller of South Thomaston dance. Miller had been studying dance at the Swing & Sway studio on Maverick Street in Rockland with the help of instructor Christian Clayton.

The 10-year-old loved watching the dancing and told her grandmother, “I want to do that.”

“I really wanted to do it,” Anderson said. “It looked like fun.”

She said she wants to be a professional dancer when she grows up.

At the time, Clayton, who has extensive experience as both a teacher and a competitor, did not offer lessons for children. “I had to do some fast talking to get him to give her a lesson,” Miller said.

After one lesson together, both Anderson and Clayton knew they wanted to continue the training.

“I really enjoy it,” Clayton said. “She’s a very unique person.” He added that Anderson learns very quickly.

“She’s very serious about it,” Miller said.

“Sometimes she tells me what to do,” Clayton said and laughed.

Anderson performed in the November 2009 showcase at the Elks Lodge in Rockland dancing to “You’re the one that I want” from “Grease.”

Her grandmother said she brought down the house, but bigger success was on the horizon.

Anderson competed in the Eastern United States Dancesport Championships Jan. 22-24 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. She performed in six categories at the national competition: Swing, Foxtrot, Waltz, Cha-Cha, Tango and Rumba. She won first place blue ribbons in every category. It was her first competition.

“She’s a natural born performer,” Miller said. “She was beaming the whole time.”

When asked what she liked best about dancing, Anderson said she liked winning.

“This is a real sport,” Miller said.

“I like getting to watch other people dance,” Anderson said. She said she learns from seeing what they do.

“When a child this age gets passionate about something, they don’t get into trouble,” Miller said. She said that before her granddaughter would complain that school was boring, but finding something she chose for herself has made her happy and excited.

Miller said society should invest more of its resources in positive things like this, through which children learn that life is a high.

Anderson has been preparing for the next showcase to be held Saturday, May 22 in the Strom Auditorium at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport.

She is the daughter of Katie Crandall and Brad Anderson.