A YOUNG dancer from Bury is celebrating her recent success in a national competition.

Imogen Hopwood, aged 12, made it through to the semi-finals of the British Freestyle Championships at Blackpool Winter Gardens on Sunday.

The performer is also letting her personality shine through as she competes to become Little Miss Teen Great Britain at the end of this month.

And not only that, Woodhey High School pupil Imogen also challenged herself to an eight-hour danceathon for charity on Saturday as part of her fundraising goals ahead of the upcoming pageant.

Mother Paula described the competition finalist as having “a heart of gold”.

She said: "We had a wonderful day at the British competition on Sunday. Imogen got through to the semi-finals in both of her sections which was an amazing achievement and we are delighted."

Imogen, from Ramsbottom, went up against about 100 other girls in the under 14s category for two solo and one pairs dance at the Blackpool Dance Festival.

The youngster took up dancing as a hobby three years ago and trains with Dance Nation Academy (DNA), at Radcliffe Primary School, six days each week.

“At DNA, Imogen has found an amazing family”, her mum said. “The friendship circle has been really valuable for her.

"The danceathon on Saturday was amazing."

Imogen helped to teach three classes in the morning while dancing non-stop, and was then joined by friends and fellow dancers who turned up to keep her going throughout the afternoon. The fundraising event has helped raise more than £500 for Together for Short Lives, a charity supporting children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions, and also the chosen charity of Imogen's upcoming Little Miss Teen GB competition.

“Imogen is super excited for the pageant", Mrs Hopwood said. "She is so nervous because this is totally stepping out of her comfort zone but she loves to challenge herself and she loves meeting new people and searching for new opportunities.

“She is such a happy-go-lucky child, who is always smiling. She has a heart of gold. Nothing phases her. She is a ray of sunshine.”

Little Miss Teen GB is judged 50 per cent on the personality of the contestant, with points given for making appearances as Miss Bury, such as at functions or charity events.

“It is about who you are, your personality, and how you present yourself”, Mrs Hopwood said.

The contest also involves photoshoots, as well as an opening ceremony, fashion section and evening reception, in which Imogen is required to showcase three outfits.

She was crowned Miss Junior Bury in July.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/missburyimogen.