It's a remarkable story of a little girl born in poverty, left in a Russian orphanage who is now conquering the world with passion.
Alexis Strumolo was "skinny, sickly and malnourished" when Port Macquarie mum Kerrie Faux adopted her in 1988.
Now a professional dancer, Alexis is in the semi-finals of the popular dance TV show Australia's Got Talent with her group aKrobatiKa.
The group impressed the judges so much that judge Manu Feildel gave them the Golden Buzzer which sent them straight to the semi-finals.
Ms Faux said she can't believe her little girl has gone so far after such humble beginnings.
She still remembers when she met her at the orphanage.
"People thought there was something wrong with her because at first she didn't interact because she was just so malnourished," said Ms Faux.
Her concerned mum enrolled her straight away in a gymnastics class to improve her health in the US where she was was living at the time.
"She just took to it and I thought this kid has something," she said.
"She would just jump higher than everyone else, was gutsier, would swing on the rope when the other kiddies wouldn't.
"When I enrolled her in dance at age two she just took to the stage too."
Alexis began winning competitions in the US but the world of dance was brutal.
"The culture was tough and cut-throat but built her character," Ms Faux said tactfully.
"It taught her to be mentally strong and not to let other people knock you down."
The family moved to Port Macquarie when Alexis was 15 and she studied at Westport High School before receiving a dance scholarship to spend her final two years at St Columba Anglican School.
Alexis trained at Extreme Dance throughout her time in Port Macquarie and when she left school taught at Extravadance and La Vive in Port Macquarie.
She is currently in her third year of an Advanced Diploma of Dance at the Lee Academy in Tuggerah on the Central Coast.
Alexis's dream is to dance for Cirque Du Soleil or The House of Dancing Water in Macau.
And her proud mum can't help but pinch herself when she thinks back to the scared little girl at the Russian orphanage.
"I look at her beginnings and now she has the world at her feet," she said.