TEENAGER Anya Mercer is taking the dance world by storm after appearing at a gala performance with the National Youth Ballet at Sadler’s Wells.

Anya, 15, who goes to Brighton College, walked off with the Young Performer of the Season award after her performance at the legendary London venue at the start of September, where she had main roles in two pieces in the gala.

Anya successfully auditioned for the National Youth Ballet earlier this year and earned a place at a ten-day summer school course with NYB and the chance to perform in the gala.

Her lead roles were in a piece about silent movie actress Clara Bow and another about mathematician Ada Lovelace.

Anya said: “I couldn’t believe it when they announced I had won it.

“This huge, heavy bronze award that weighed a ton was presented to me by Sir Matthew Bourne – I was so awestruck to meet the famous choreographer and director.

“I just didn’t know how to react, I was so excited.

“The award now takes pride of place in my bedroom.”

Anya, whose mother was an accomplished dancer and is now a dance teacher, hopes to join the Royal Ballet or the English National Ballet when she is older.

She said: “I love dance. No one ever had to suggest it to me, I was just drawn to it from a young age – I started dancing at four.

“I’d love to do anything dance-related when I’m older.”

Her mother Deborah, who teaches at Brighton College, said: “We are all so proud of Anya’s achievements.

“She is so passionate and focused and has a great work ethic.”