Girl pirouettes her way into the Royal Ballet
SHE is only nine years old but an East Yorkshire schoolgirl already wants to become the next Darcey Bussell.
Harriet Leoni has been awarded a place at the prestigious Royal Ballet School.
Her trips every Saturday for lessons in Leeds are the first stage towards boarding school at 13.
The schoolgirl from Brough Primary said: "It's been really good. For the Royal Ballet audition it was classical music and a couple of dances."
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The success led her to address the full school assembly this week.
She said: "My friends think it's really good but I was a bit nervous. They've all been asking me about it."
The youngster lives in Randsfield Avenue, Brough, with her parents Greg and Debbie and her sister Francesca, 8, who enjoys street dance but isn't following in Harriet's footsteps.
The family business is May News in North Ferriby.
Proud mum Debbie, 36, said: "She's also in the Northern Ballet School, also in Leeds, on a Friday. She's very keen, she already goes dancing four times a week. She's been going to RS Dance, run by Rebecca Salmon in Brough, since she was two years old.
"This year she's had four auditions and she's been accepted for every one. We're very proud of her."
While Harriet has had plenty of encouragement, she has not been pushed into dancing and needs no motivating.
Debbie said: "She'll never miss any dancing to go to parties or anything like that.
"When there was a school trip to Cloughton near Scarborough, she came home early because she didn't want to miss her dance class."
The Leeds trips are as much of a commitment for her parents as they are for Harriet.
Debbie said: "I've got no problem with the travelling because it's just so worth it.
"To see that joy in her face is the most fantastic thing ever."
At 11, Harriet will be able to audition to go to Royal Ballet School's White Lodge boarding school in Covent Garden.
Mrs Leoni is less sure about that but she said: "If that's what she wants to do, we'll be behind her all the way."
Harriet has no doubts about her ambition, saying: "I just love dancing. I want to be a ballerina."