‘Highest grade’ boost for Carrick performing arts student

Sophie Jones.
Sophie Jones.

A Carrickfergus student’s dream of a performing arts career has received a boost with help from the Northern Regional College.

Sophie Jones, who was awarded a Level 3 Performing Arts Diploma with triple Distinction*- the highest possible grade – plans to study Dance and Drama at Edge Hill University in Liverpool.

Sophie said: “School was never for me, but the college allowed me to invest in my passion and commit myself to doing what I love. The experience and boost to my confidence has been immeasurable.”

Sophie enrolled to do a Level 2 qualification at the college in 2016 and immediately caught the eye of her teachers. Successful completion of the Level 2 Diploma allowed her to progress to Level 3, a vocational course the equivalent of A levels.

As a child she did Irish dancing and as a teenager, moved on to Street and Hip Hop styles. Her involvement in youth dance projects provided an opportunity perform on stage in Disneyland in California as part of the Dance Excellence programme.

“It was an unforgettable experience,” Sophie said. “We spent a week in California, undertaking Masterclasses from choreographers in every type of dance. We performed on stage at Disneyland and were part of the Disneyland parade, which was an absolutely surreal experience.”

As part of her Level 3 qualification, Sophie performed in the college’s production of Blood Wedding in May at the Theatre at the Mill in Newtownabbey. Remarkable experiences like these have helped stoke her passion for the performing arts.

Gemma McGranaghan, course co-ordinator for Performing Arts at NRC, said: “Sophie was an excellent student and stood out from the moment she set foot in through the doors of the college We are all very proud of Sophie and what she has achieved in her time with us and have no doubt that she will have a very successful career ahead of her.”