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Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Monday, 21 June 2010 14:33 UK
Watford ballerina accepted at the Bolshoi
Natalie Carter
Watford's Natalie Carter makes history as first English girl to attend the school.

A ballerina from Watford is celebrating after becoming the first English girl to be accepted for a full diploma at Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

The 17 year old, Natalie Carter impressed a talent scout during a performance at the Gypsy Booth College and School of Theatre Arts in Watford.

Her mother, Sue told BBC Three Counties Radio how proud she is:

"Bubbling with pride and very relieved that the last few weeks has gone by and she's passed the exams.

"We knew she could do it but there's always an element of doubt," she said.

Only three other British girls have been given the opportunity to study at the Ballet Academy in Moscow in the school's 230 year history.

First year

None of the British girls who made it into the school that was established in 1773 progressed past the first year.

Natalie beat thousands of hopefuls from around the world to win a place at the academy.

She was spotted by former Bolshoi dancer, Svetlana Adyrkhaeva performing at her local ballet school who was astonished by her natural abilities and asked her to send in a minute long audition tape.

Once in Moscow she will face 40 hours a week of intensive ballet classes to bring her up to the school's extremely high standards.

She will also have to take one and half hours of Russian language classes every day.

Natalie took up tap dancing aged seven at Watford's Gypsy Booth School and only began learning ballet aged nine.

''When I first found out I was scared but very excited. I have always liked to dance and love ballet," she said.

Natalie is used to hard work taking 15 hours of dance lessons per week.

''I find dancing very relaxing and it is good for expressing what you're feeling inside.

''It's very emotional and there is nothing like the feeling you get when you're dancing in front of an audience.

"It is one of the best opportunities ever given to me to fulfil my dream of becoming a professional ballerina one day.

Dream role

''My dream role would be Giselle or the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty,'' she revealed.

Accepting the Bolshoi's offer was a lengthy process involving trips to the embassy and completing reams of paperwork in Russian.

Natalie's mother Sue sent out more than 1,500 letters seeking sponsorship to help meet the £956 (1100 euros) fees per term.

Donations from local businesses have allowed her daughter to take up her place in Moscow.

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