YOUNG Karis Wilkinson was only nine when she started dancing, but three years on and she has been snapped up by two prestigious dance schools.

Twelve-year-old Karis, who lives in Oakhurst and attends Isambard Community School, has been accepted on dance programmes at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, and Elmhurst School for Dance.

Tring and Elmhurst are two of the most prestigious dance schools in the country, and Karis was so pleased to have been accepted despite only dancing ballet for three years.

Karis, who trains with the Gemma Short School of Dance and Theatre Arts, said: “I was really happy when I found out. I’ve always wanted to go to one of those schools.

“I just love dancing, I’m always dancing around the house and around the supermarket “If I’m worried about something I always forget about it when I am dancing.

“I am quite proud of myself for getting in.”

Her mum, Amanda, 35, was thrilled when she heard the news.

She said: “I am overwhelmed, I am just so proud of her achievement. She’s worked so hard for this.

“She only started dancing three years ago so she’s done so well to get to where she is. She’s not a naturally confident person but everyone has said she is so good and she’s just herself when she dances.”

Karis auditioned at Elmhurst School for Dance for the programme and the school were so pleased with her performance that they offered her a place at the school on the spot.

Every Saturday since September Karis has trained with the school, which is supported by the internationally well respected Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Karis also decided to apply for the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, and once again the school immediately accepted her last week.

She will attend the programme at Tring every Sunday from next month, packing out her weekend with ballet.

Amanda said: “Karis dances every day pretty much, except for Thursday.

“She started dancing when we came back from Spain and she met Gemma Short who owns the dance school on Victoria Road.

“She just has the right feet and the right body for ballet. She did ballet for a few months when she was three but she only really started when she was nine.”

Gemma, who runs the school in Old Town, was also delighted to hear the news.

She said: “I think it’s fantastic and it’s a great opportunity for her training, she will learn so much there.

“It’s a fantastic achievement to be accepted at not one but two of these schools.

“She’s worked really hard for it and she deserves the places. No doubt we shall see her on stage or in a ballet somewhere in the future.”