A 10-year old girl has been selected by the English Youth Ballet to star in a production of Swan Lake alongside a number of international dancers.

Ms Horstead, from Chessington, auditioned for the role in February and was chosen from nearly 300 dancers.

Sophie Horstead, who attends St Pauls School in Hook, has been rehearsing at Ursuline High School and coached by Monica Tapiador who previously danced with the English National Ballet.

She said: “I started dancing when I was one year old. My nan got me into a dress and started to teach me some moves like pointing.

“ =I am looking forward to dancing with English Youth Ballet because it will be so great to be a part of such a big thing. It’s very exciting. In the future I would like to be a ballerina.”

Ms Tapiador said: “The young dancers are treated like professional dancers during rehearsals – we work them hard but the results are fantastic.

“They learn what the life of a professional dancer is like. They are living their dream and they just love it.

“The advice that I give to the young dancers is that 'ballet is hard'. But, if you love it, it can be a beautiful and fulfilling career.

“Keep your head up, and if you face rejection, just keep working hard and focus on your dreams, they can come true.”

The performance of Swan Lake the New Wimbledon Theatre in August will be marking the 20th anniversary of the English Youth Ballet.

Swan Lake will be performed at the New Wimbledon Theatre on Friday August 24 at 7.30pm and Saturday August 25 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.