A WOMAN who took up dancing just three years ago is preparing to travel to Lapland where she will be taking to the stage as part of an illusionist act.
Emma Stokes, 22, of Church graduated from the Bolton Dance and Performing Arts College with a Diploma in Musical Theatre and Professional Dance three months ago.
Since finishing the three-year course, which included tap, ballet and modern dance, she has managed to build up an impressive CV of dancing and modelling contracts.
Emma said: "I have been going to auditions and have done some modelling jobs and two professional pantos. I was a dancer in Ken Dodd's Happiness show, which was really good. Also every Sunday I play Alice in Wonderland at a shopping complex in Cheshire."
The former Mount Carmel pupil has been touring Britain as part of the international illusionist act, Phoenix, alongside Paul Cheesbrough. The pair will be in Lapland until after January and then they will be performing on a Mediterranean cruise ship until May before returning to Lapland.
Emma said that she started dancing aged 19 when she was working backstage at a theatre after gaining a City and Guilds in wig-making and theatrical make-up.
She became interested in dancing and turned down the chance of studying theatre and media at university to train as a dancer.
Emma said: "I have only been dancing for three years and everybody else has been doing it since they were little. When I started I couldn't do the splits or anything."
But Emma's gamble paid off and she is thoroughly enjoying being part of the show. She said: "We have got a thing where it looks like he takes my head off, a shadow box and a lot of things involving fire.
"It's really good because I am still dancing. I never thought I would be in an illusionist show.
Although touring can be difficult, Emma said that she enjoys working in a variety of venues. She added: "Instead of going on the same stage every night it's always a different one, which is great, and you meet different people. It's quite exciting."