A TALENTED young ballet dancer has won a place the prestigious English National Ballet School (ENB).

Iona Graham, 15, from Hurst Green in the Ribble Valley, was awarded the place out of dozens of hopefuls from across the world.

Her mother Siobhan, a freelance graphic designer, told of her pride and said: “We read the e-mail together and both burst into tears. I’m so very proud of her.

“She’s been so committed and worked so hard for many, many years. It’s been a long road but she’s done it.”

From September, the youngster will step out of conventional education to dedicate herself full-time to dance.

After three years at the ENB, Iona will have a diploma in professional practice, with an option to turn it into an honours degree.

The Stonyhurst College and Colne’s East Lancashire School of Dancing (ELSD) student has also won parts at the Mechanics Theatre in Burnley where, on Sunday, she will perform in its Showstoppers 2013 production.

She has a classical solo part from Phantom of the Opera and the lead role of Maria in The Sound of Music.

Iona’s ballet teacher at the ELSD, Claire Slater, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for Iona. She's done incredibly well.”