Ballerina from Watford wins diploma spot at Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow
Natalie Carter from Watford will start a three year diploma at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow.
Ballerina Natalie Carter will become the first British girl to train for a full diploma at a prestigious Russian ballet school.
After a gruelling first year at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, during which she got to grips with the language and an unforgiving class timetable, Natalie has passed her exams and secured a spot on a three-year diploma course.
Natalie's mother Sue said: “She loves it, absolutely loves it.”
Natalie, 17, was invited to apply for the Bolshoi after impressing Svetlana Adyrkhaeva, a former principle dancer at the Russian school, when she saw the teenager perform with The Gypsy Booth School and College of Theatre Arts in South Oxhey last year.
She was placed on a preliminary course designed to bring her technique up to other girls' standards as she had not come from a dancing background, attending Watford Grammar School for Girls.
However, in the past 12 months Natalie suffered a number of injuries to her stomach, foot and hip, which forced her to stop dancing for several weeks.
But she was able to prove herself to her teachers and win the chance to train for a full diploma at the school.
Natalie will return home to Belgrave Avenue, Watford, for the summer holidays later this month before beginning the course in September.
Sue added: "I am obviously bubbling with pride that Natalie has secured her place, but more relieved and excited for Natalie as I know how much this meant to her and how hard she has worked during the year and to get back to fitness for these exams."