A BUDDING young ballerina from New Hutton has danced her way onto a top classical training course.

Leah Hunt, 10, has been awarded a junior associate on the Royal Ballet School pre-vocational programme after beating off more than 1,000 hopefuls in an audition.

Leah, who dances at Rigney Bank Ballet School in Milnthorpe, will continue her usual classes but will travel to Manchester once each week, where she will join other talented youngsters in special classes designed to enhance her classical training.

Youngsters on the associate scheme sometimes have the opportunity to perform with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and other ballet companies - with some progressing through the Lower and Upper School and into the Royal Ballet Companies.

Dance teacher Jayne Mills said she was ‘delighted’ that another of her students has been accepted by The Royal Ballet.

And Leah’s family is extremely excited about her success and Mum Allison said she was ‘very proud’ of Leah, who she said was ‘really’ looking forward to starting classes with the Royal Ballet in September.