Talented youngster Charlotte Wilkinson has won a place at a top dance school after battling against illness to follow her dream.
Charlotte, 11, of Meadowfield, near Durham City, has secured a place at the prestigious The Hammond School in Chester despite being ill with a stomach disorder.
The youngster has always dreamed of becoming a ballerina but suffers from sucrose/fructose malabsorption and wheat intolerance, which can make her lose a lot of weight.
Her mum Claire Wilkinson said: “When she did the audition she was at her absolute lowest. She had lost over a stone in weight and it was touch and go. But she is very determined.
“From a tender age of two, Charlotte has dreamed of being a ballet dancer and had aspirations of going off to dance school.
“She has been very determined to try new things and perform as much as possible.
“We are so proud of all her achievements, but as parents we are very nervous of the troughs of her moving away from home – this is a massive step at such a young age.”
Charlotte is currently a pupil at Framwellgate Moor Primary School, in Durham City, and trains at the Prima Academy of Performing Arts. She also dances for the Northern Ballet Academy in Leeds and the Elmhurst in Sunderland.
She was also recently accepted for a role in Swan Lake at the Tyne Theatre with the English Youth Ballet and has danced twice at Associaceo da Danca Iberica, in Portugal.