A DALGETY BAY teen has beat thousands to gain a scholarship at one of London’s best performing arts schools.

Haydn Smart, 17, was first featured in the pages of the Press in 2011 when we uncovered that she was following in the steps of her grandmother, Ann Russell, who won the Scottish Ballroom Championship in 1961.

The former Inverkeithing High School student has won countless competitions since she began dancing when she was 10 and now will get the opportunity to master her craft in London.

Proud mum Tracey told the Press: “Both my mum and Haydn are fantastic dancers but it seems to have skipped me!

“At the national ‘Can you dance’ competition, she won contemporary dancer of the day, so she was spotted by a couple of schools, but she chose D&B academy because she knows the jobs will be in London.

“She was lucky enough to be chosen by ‘Can you dance’ for their 2017 scholarship and they could have chosen anyone out of the thousands across the UK that take part. She’s so enthusiastic and trains for many hours travelling all over just to get to a class and she still managed to get 3As and a B in her Highers.

“It wasn’t her intention to leave school until next year but she just couldn’t turn this opportunity down.”

Haydn will also be taking classes in drama and singing in the three-year course, although her focus is a career in commercial dance.

Tracey added: “She told the academy she just wants to be a background dancer but they told her, ‘Oh no, Haydn you belong at the front!’ “She’s quite shy and she just doesn’t know how good she is. We’re both joined to the hip so I’m absolutely dreading her going in September but it’ll be worth it.

“The fees are astronomical at this school so I just don’t know how I would have been able to afford it with living expenses on top, so it’s just fantastic for us all.”

Haydn said: “I’m so excited to get started, I’ve been dreaming about it for so long. I’m nervous because it’s new territory but once I settle, I know I’ll love it. My gran has been my biggest inspiration all these years and she’s been so involved in my dancing. I’ll be the only Scottish person there this year so I’m just really grateful for the opportunity.”