A Blackpool-born ballet dancer is hoping to prove his moves are en pointe at the Dance World Cup this summer.
Branden Hutchinson, 13, will go up against the world’s greatest dancers at the international competition in June.
The former Aspire Academy student, who last year moved to Blackburn to continue his dance training, took up ballet at the age of nine.
He said: “It all started off when my mum used to be a football coach and I used to play on her team and it just wasn’t for me. I kept running away from the ball and doing cartwheels.
“Mum thought ballet would help me improve and I just fell in love with it from that day.”
Branden joined the Cats with Red Shoes dance school on Highfield Road, where he trained for three years.
He is a Royal Ballet associate, has won the Paul Watson at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts bursary for his dancing three times, and has won a scholarship to to study at the Studio 76 arts theatre in Liverpool.
Now he takes his talents to the world stage at the Dance World Cup in Offenburg, Germany, in June, after being selected to represent England at the competition.
He said: “I’m very proud to be representing my country; I’m ecstatic and honoured.
“I’m going to go with high hopes and hopefully I will bring back gold, but I will try my best.
“There are a lot of competitors from Russia and they are amazing.
“What I’m hoping to do once I turn 16 is join one of the big ballet schools in England and work as a choreographer and dancer and after that open my own dance school.
“I’m hoping to put more boys into dance because there’s still that stereotype that boys shouldn’t do ballet and I’m hoping to get rid of that.”
His mum, Nicola Fowler, said: “I’m totally shocked and amazed and I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for him. My boy is representing England and the north west.
“It’s going to be an absolutely phenomenal experience for him.”