A DANCING starlet from Bournemouth says she is more determined than ever to fulfil her dream of joining the Royal Ballet School after coming second in a national dancing contest.

Earlier this month, 13-year-old Harriet Williamson took second place in the prestigious Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing’s (ISTD) ballet competition.

The teenager, who lives in Moordown, said: “I was really surprised I won.

“There were 63 girls in my category. I had made it to the finals for the last two years but never got any further.”

The youngster, who is a pupil at Bournemouth School for Girls, said the competition has made her even more determined to train hard and fulfil her dream of becoming a professional dancer. “I want to dance with the Royal Ballet. They are the best of the best,” she said.

Despite being accepted at Tring Park School for performing Arts in Hertfordshire for the past two years running, the youngster, who trains with Steppin’ Out Academy of Performance, has had to turn down the offers due to a lack of funding.

Her father Daren Williamson said: “She has been accepted both years but she did not get the funding – it costs around £30,000 a year and we just can’t afford it.

“When she first gets the letter she is literally devastated but half an hour later she says ‘right I didn’t get in so I’ll have to train harder’.”

The 48-year-old said he was immensely proud of his daughter, who trains around 24 hours a week, but has no idea where her passion for dancing came from. “She wanted to do ballet when she was just two-years-old. No one else dances in the family. She works incredibly hard but it’s all she has ever wanted to do,” he said.

Harriet’s dance teacher Angela Taylor said she was delighted by her star student’s success and has high hopes for her future.

Mrs Taylor said: “Her achievement is phenomenal. To win second place at the ISTD ballet awards is a huge accolade.”

She added: “I’m incredibly proud of her. If she continues to work at the level she is working at the moment the sky is the limit.”