Max Maslen, 29, formerly of Denton Road, Ilkley, and Ilkley Grammar School has just been made a Principal dancer at Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB). Principal is the highest rank you can reach in ballet.

The announcement was made on stage by BRB Director, Carlos Acosta, at the end of Max’s performance as Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, at BRB’s home theatre, The Hippodrome in Birmingham.

Max trained with Andie Nydza, of Nydza School of Dance, in Bingley.

He left Ilkley Grammar School in 2009, at age 16, to attend Central School of Ballet in London.

After graduating from central in 2012, Max joined BRB as an Artist. He was made First Artist in 2016, Soloist in 2018 and First Soloist in 2022.

Max said: “The announcement from Carlos came as a complete surprise. It’s a huge honour to receive this promotion to Principal in the job I love.

“Not all kids are academic or good at exams, but I hope I can show them that if you have other skills and talents, and you work hard, you can achieve your dreams.”