A TALENTED young dancer is celebrating after securing a place on the Junior Associate scheme at the Royal Ballet.

Amaia Echebarrieta, 10, will begin her programme with the prestigious school in September, travelling to Eastleigh every Saturday for a two-and-a-half hour intensive ballet class.

The Royal Ballet Associate Programme nurtures young, talented students between the ages of eight and 15 in pursuit of excellence in pre-vocational classical ballet training.

Amaia, from Bournemouth, is a pupil at Centre Stage School of Dance and Performing Arts in Parkstone, and may have the opportunity to perform with the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and other ballet companies through the associate scheme.

Places for the programme are highly coveted and students apply from 60 countries worldwide.

Centre stage principal Zoe Mather said: “I am so over the moon for Amaia. She is clearly a gifted pupil and a special dancer, but has great determination and dedication – she has worked hard for this achievement.

“This is such an incredible opportunity for her.”