A DANCER from Highcliffe has her sights set on the West End and if her recent success is anything to go by her dreams may very well come true.

Emily Derham, 13, is preparing to take part in the prestigious Janet Cram finals next month.

Despite being one of the youngest entrants out of 32 dancers in the senior category at the regional heats, Emily secured one of the four spots on offer for the annual event in London organised by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).

“I was really nervous at the start because the standard was so high,” she said.

“I wasn’t expecting anything at all so when they announced my number it really was a shock. It was crazy.

“At the finals the standard is going to be even higher. It is the best of the best, so I’m not expecting anything, but I want to go there and have more experiences.”

Last year following an audition in London, Emily became the face of a Samsung advertising campaign which was viewed by millions of people.

The Highcliffe School pupil has been dancing since the age of three and she trains five nights a week at Jamie Lee Dance Academy, which is based at LeAF Studio.

Her coach Jamie-Lee Mason, founder of the dance academy and former West-End professional, said Emily’s achievements should not be underestimated.

“Emily’s progression in the last year was sensational, she has gone from strength to strength,” she said.

“She is never happy with settling at something, she is always looking to improve.

“I was just proud to see her get through, but not surprised because when you watch her against the others she has got that one thing you can’t teach. I can teach her technique, but there is something inside her that is a little bit special.

“All the girls and boys we have in the academy are really supportive of each other, so when she came back the first people to congratulate her were her fellow dancers and they want to share in her success.”

Emily backed up her success in qualifying for the Janet Crams, by also securing a place in the ISTD ballet award grade five finals.

From September she is set to attend LeAF Studio as a student allowing her to train even more.

Despite still having several years with the academy ahead of her, Emily is clear on her hopes for the future.

She said: “My dream is to go to college, work hard and eventually perform in the West End every day.”