AN Inverness schoolgirl is preparing for the trip of a lifetime after being offered the chance to compete in a major Highland dancing contest in Canada next month.
Sophie Macrae (11), who was nominated for last year’s Highland Heroes awards for her dancing, will take part in the Scotdance Canada Championship Series in Calgary, Alberta in the opening week of July.
She already regularly competes all over Scotland and impressed judges at the prestigious Cowal Highland Games in Dunoon last summer.
Sophie also won her first championship in her category at the Paris International Dance Competition.
Dad Angus (43) spoke of his pride at his daughter’s achievements and says her dedication has got her to where she is now.
He said: "Sophie practices four nights a week and competes most weekends.
"She performs all over Scotland and just really loves her dancing.
"She performed at the Cowal Highland Games and in the Scottish category she came fourth out of 42 dancers.
"In the international category she did even better and came second out of 44 dancers.
"She was one of the first dancers to perform as well so for the judges to remember her just shows how good her performance was.
"She went to Disneyland Paris last year for the Paris International Dance Competition and won her group.
"It was her first championship win in her category so that was a really special moment for all of us."
Sophie will have the backing of local firm Safe Access Scaffolding, who have agreed to donate £350 towards her tilt at the competition.
She will also be supported by her family, who plan to make the trip across the Atlantic with her.
The family will leave for Canada at the end of this month, and Mr Macrae admitted they can’t wait to get on their way and make it a trip to remember.
He said: "We are really grateful to Safe Access Scaffolding for the support they’ve given Sophie.
"Going to Canada is the next step for her.
"We have been really busy but we are now looking forward to Canada.
"We head out on June 28 and she’ll be competing from July 1 to 3.
"Sophie already has a countdown on her phone and her suitcase is all laid out ready!
"There are five of us going altogether.
"There is Sophie, myself and my wife, and my wife’s aunt and uncle are coming over with us.
"He is Canadian so it’s nice for him to be able to come along with us and enjoy the trip.
"The most important thing for all of us is that Sophie enjoys her dancing, but also that she has a good time on holiday as well."