A little girl born into a world of silence is inspiring others through her skills as a dancer.
Despite not being able to hear the music, eight-year-old Alexandria Murray, from Guisborough, is able to perform complicated dance routines, perfectly in time to the beat.
And now she has been selected as one of just three deaf children from across the North East to win a place in a national dance masterclass to showcase exceptional talent.
Delighted Alexandria, who only took up dancing at the age of five, said: “I’m really looking forward to taking part in the live show.
“I came home from school one day and my mum told me that I had been picked and I was really excited and a bit nervous.
“My parents are really proud of me.”
Alexandria was born profoundly deaf – her mum Rebecca Murray says it would need to be at the volume of a jet engine for the youngster to hear.
Alexandria Murray, 8, who has been selected to attend a mentoring weekend where she will work towards taking part in a live showcase
She was later fitted with cochlear implants which give her a form of artifical hearing although it is not the same as natural sounds but “almost robotic”.
However it does mean she can hear the beat of a tune but not the melody.
Rebecca said: “Even when she was little she used to dance everywhere – she was always dancing.
“She would dance across the playground or even while we are out shopping – she never stops dancing.”
Her parents, Rebecca and Colin, who also have son Ewan, 10, decided to give dance lessons a go and there was no looking back.
Alexandria now trains regularly with the Caroline Grace School of Dance where she loves every minute while learning exceptional skills.
The Highcliffe Primary pupil entered the Raising the Bar competition which aims to show what can be achieved by youngsters with hearing impairment.
She was selected by a panel of judges from the National Deaf Children’s Society and leading deaf professionals from the arts industry.
Alexandria Murray, 8, who has been selected to attend a mentoring weekend where she will work towards taking part in a live showcase Her dance tutor is Caroline Grace, 36
Alexandria has been invited to attend a mentoring weekend in June where the newly found ‘Raising the Bar’ stars will work towards a live showcase with 25 other children.
Mark Smith, deaf choreographer and artistic director of the all-male dance company Deaf Men Dancing will lead the dance masterclass which will be working towards a live showcase in Birmingham on June 18 and 19.
Deaf actress, Sophie Stone, launched the competition at the beginning of this year, she said: “I am so impressed by the high standard of entries for the NDCS ‘Raising the Bar’ competition.
“Having attended RADA I know how vital it is for deaf children and young people to be in an environment where they can build confidence, gain skills and make new friends.
“Deaf children are just as capable as everyone else; we just need to make sure they get the right support.”
Bryony Parkes, Inclusive Activities Implementation Manager for NDCS said: “We had an amazing response from some extremely talented deaf young actors, dancers and musicians.
“It is really important that deaf children and young people get the same opportunities to take part in the same activities as their hearing friends and siblings. We hope these competition winners will go on to great things as well as demonstrate to their peers exactly what they are capable of.”