A BLACKBURN teenager is jumping for joy after being selected to join a prestigious dance school.

Paige Szatkowski, from Mill Hill, is set to attend the Lowry Dance School, Salford, next term after beating hundreds of hopefuls at a series of auditions.

And what’s more remarkable is that 15-year-old Paige has never had a professional dance lesson in her life!

Instead all her tuition and training has come from her studies at St Wilfrid’s High School.

Paige said: “The final audition was last week and there was 60 of us going for 18 places. I couldn’t believe it when I got in.

“It’s going to be hard work as it’s my GCSE year and I’ll be going two nights every week plus all day on Saturday.

“I’ve never been to any lessons outside the school, they’ve helped me so much.”

Paige was encouraged in her creative efforts by St Wilfrid’s dance and drama teacher Amy Downham, who informed her of the auditions and helped her prepare.

She has performed three times at the Blackburn Schools’ Celebration of dance at the King George’s Hall and will dance in the St Wilfrid’s forthcoming production of the musical Hairspray.

Paige hopes that a year’s top-class professional training in contemporary and theatrical dance will set her up for a career in performing arts.

Proud mum Jackie McVan, 35, said she had nothing but praise for the way the school and people of Mill Hill had got behind her daughter.

“I’m thrilled to bits for her.

"Paige has had great support from everyone and has repaid that with the hard work she’s put in,” she said.