ONE day when she was four, Ashley McAllister returned home from nursery and said she wanted to go to dance classes.

Now, aged 11, she is ready to take on the world, thanks to first-time solo success.

The Neilston youngster auditioned in November for the Dance World Cup, along with 6,000 others around the globe, with only the top three in each country and each category getting chosen to head to Rome between June 26 and July 4.

Ashley was selected for her skill in what is called ‘commercial dance’ – a mix of street dance, hip hop and working with MTV pop music.

The St Thomas’ Primary pupil said ‘Who’s That Chick?,’ by David Guetta featuring Rihanna, is one of her favourite tracks to dance to – and it’s what she’ll use for her championship performance.

Ashley is also part of the performance squad at Gillian Anderson’s Le Dance Studio in Barrhead and takes part in competitions at the weekend.

The team has competed at events in the likes of Blackpool, Coventry, Essex, Liverpool and Manchester – but the Dance World Cup will be another step up for primary seven pupil Ashley.

“It’s something I just love to do,” she told the Barrhead News. “I really get into the music. I’m looking forward to going to Rome, it’s really exciting.

“I hope to have a career in dance when I’m older.”

Barrhead News: Ashley McAllister will fly the flag for East Renfrewshire on the world stageAshley McAllister will fly the flag for East Renfrewshire on the world stage

Proud parents Vicki, 48, and Bob, 44, said they are thrilled by Ashley’s success.

And Vicki said her daughter’s dance skills aren’t genetic.

“Everyone is pretty excited about this, as it’s the first big thing she has won,” added Vicki.

“Ashley has done commercial for a while. She loves it, she just connects with the music.”

Vicki is hoping Ashley will have plenty of support as she goes for glory at the Dance World Cup.

“We are trying to go to Rome as a family and are looking for sponsors,” she said. “We’ll be holding a charity night as well.”

Jennifer Anderson, Ashley’s dance instructor, worked with choreographer Danielle Dougela to prepare for the championship entry.

She said: “I’m absolutely in awe. Ashley has done so well to be picked as a soloist on her first time auditioning. I’m not surprised, though, because she’s amazing.

“The hard work is really paying off. I would say she is one of our strongest commercial dancers. Commercial is more fun – it’s stuff you see on MTV and on dance shows on TV.

“It couldn’t have happened to a lovelier person. Ashley is such a lovely kid.”

Thousands of performers aged from four to 25 compete for the Dance World Cup, which has previously been held at venues in the likes of Jersey, Sardinia, Paris and Bucharest.

Categories include classical ballet, modern, tap, song and dance, street/hip hop and national.