AN ACCRINGTON schoolgirl is heading for bright lights and national opportunities after beating hundreds of hopefuls at an audition.

Accrington Academy pupil Sophie Thomson’s talent shone through after trying out for the The Manchester Lowry’s advanced training scheme.

The 12-year-old impressed the judges in her first ever major audition, during open days for young people aged 12 to 19.

Sophie attended the event in Lancaster and was told to go back for another audition due to her ‘showing excellent potential talent in dance’.

Sophie was one of hundreds to audition a week later in Manchester from all over the north west to try and gain a place. Sophie danced ballet, contemporary, modern and showed her choreography skill to make the cut at lunch.

Now the schoolgirl, who takes classes at Zoe Taylor dance school in Blackburn, will be able to mix with the leading dance companies who visit the Lowry each year.

Mum Penny said she was thrilled to receive the news that she will be attending classes at the Lowry from September.

She said: “Sophie has been dancing since she was five, but this was the first time she has been old enough to audition for anything major.

“She was absolutely thrilled to get in as it is so young. We are really proud of her and everyone at Zoe Taylor’s is thrilled for her too.”

Sophie was selected to move through to the afternoons workshops surviving her first cut that sent half the dancers who auditioned home.

She then survived a further cut at tea time and was selected to have an interview with the final 30. She then had to wait three days to see if she had gained one of the 20 places on offer.