THE West End stage awaits two talented young dancers who have won a scholarship to a prestigious performing arts school.

Sophie-Leigh Jones-Wills and Jasmine Paige Philpott will be attending the Liverpool Central Studios ­— the former Liverpool Theatre School.

The pair, who are members of Bolton-based Taylor Theatre Academy , will study musical theatre for three years. The school’s alumni have gone on to work on some of theatre’s biggest productions, including Back to the Future, which recently premiered in Manchester.

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(Jasmine Paige Philpott)

They refused to let the coronavirus pandemic scupper their dancing dreams and compiled a show reel for their audition, as lockdown restrictions meant they were unable to audition in person.

Taylor Theatre Academy principals Stacey Taylor and Julie Ashton said they are “immensely proud of” the two.

Julie said: “Thousands of applicants are made every year and they only take between 16-20 students per year.

“Stacey herself trained at Liverpool Central Studios, so it’s great to see our own students following in our footsteps.”

Stacey said: “ Liverpool Central Studios is a prestigious theatre school and college.

“The Patron of Liverpool Central Studios is Wayne Sleep OBE . We are over the moon that both girls have gained full scholarships and DaDa awards for the gifted and talented.

“We can’t wait to see them on the West End in the future.”

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Sophie-Leigh, aged 16, lives in Breightmet and has been with the academy since it opened in February 2017

She said: “I am extremely lucky to be given this opportunity to further my career in musical theatre, it is going to enable me to study what I am extremely passionate about and will open a lot of doors for me in the future.

“Due to the lockdown we were not able to do face to face auditions, we had to do them via video. In hindsight I feel that this was a better option for me as I was less nervous being in my own surroundings. We had lots of support from Miss Stacey and Miss Julie our teachers at Taylor’s Theatre Academy and lots of support and encouragement from parents and other students.

“This amazing opportunity to further my personal development will be a stepping stone for me to be able to gain more experience on stage or cruise ships and then eventually to open my own dance school. I would like to thank Taylor’s Theatre academy for all the help and support they have given me since starting there, they have allowed me to be the person I want to be when others did not believe in me, they have enabled me to find my confidence again and I will be eternally grateful for that.”

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Jasmine, aged 18, lives in Tonge Moor.

She said: “ I’m so shocked to have even been considered for a DaDA award! I first started my journey into musical theatre when I was in Year 10 and I played Sandy in the school musical Grease.

“After I left school and went to sixth-form I didn’t really have the chance to continue with dance. Without Taylor’s Theatre Academy and the continuous help of Stacey and Julie, I hundred per cent would not be where I am today.

“To be accepted into Liverpool Theatre School is an absolute honour. I have heard many success stories of past students who attended and I can’t wait to hopefully join a long line of successes.

“The audition situation was a bit strange, I had already done a few auditions for universities around the country so I was sort of prepared in a way for what it would be like but then unfortunately COVID-19 turned into a global pandemic and we went into lockdown. So I had to do a video audition where I had to film myself singing two songs, performing a monologue and performing a dance that I had to choreograph.

“Eventually my end goal is to perform in musicals across the country and even across the world. My two main goals are to star as Sophie in ‘Mamma Mia’ and Janet in ‘The Rocky Horror Show’. I hope to inspire people in similar ways to how I was inspired by people like Stacey and Julie to to help people reach their goals.”