DANCER Hannah Sumner is leaping to new heights after securing a place with the Northern Ballet School.

Hannah will start training at the school,which is an international centre of excellence, next month after also being offered scholarships at two other dancing schools The 17-year-old, from Wanborough, has been dancing since she was five and has had to overcome numerous hurdles to get where she is today.

She said: “I have had hearing problems for years and it was in Year 7 that I went for a hearing test and they prescribed me with hearing aids.

“It’s not amazing to wear them but I need to and I really struggle if I don’t have them in because I have 60 per cent hearing loss.

“If you are really tall, you are going to be even taller when you are en pointe. I am about six foot when I am en pointe so any partner work means I will have to be with a man who is about 6ft 2ins, and there aren’t very many ballet dancers that tall.

“It does put you off because you get told you’re too tall for being a ballet dancer, and that does hurt.”

But she has not let those drawbacks prevent her from getting to where she wants to be.

She said: “I’ve always loved dancing and it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.

“It’s a three-year course at Northern which will mean that I will be moving to Manchester.

“In my opinion Northern is the right place where I can develop my career.

“I’m hoping that training with Northern will help me to join a company.”

“I think it shows that with dancing you can have anything, and as long as you can see and you have talent you can dance.

“Even though I have hearing aids they still accepted me.

“Something like that shouldn’t hold you back from doing something you love.”

During the past year as well as sitting her AS Levels Hannah has been working with the English National Ballet Youth Company, travelling to London every week to continue her busy dance timetable.

She’s also been winning hearts closer to home with her performance, after winning Wanborough’s Got Talent.

Mum Sarah said: “We are so proud of her.

“Hannah has achieved so much and overcome a lot of difficulties, suffering with a hearing impairment and having worn hearing aids since she was 11.

“She is an inspiration to anyone who wants to dance, but has to overcome the odds and work very hard.

“Her teachers have been so supportive.”