OUTSTANDING ARTIST: Pallavi with her trophy after the contest finals at the Hackney Empire.
WHILE other young people have spent the summer holidays relaxing, one Chelmsford girl has been putting in hours of practice as a professional Bollywood dancer.
Within weeks of winning a national title, 15-year-old Pallavi Mohanty has been receiving bookings for solo performances at functions up and down the country.
Now she is adding more strings to her bow by training as a Bollywood dance teacher.
Pallavi explained: "The past few weeks have been quite hectic. I have been training three hours a week as a dancer, both with a group and as a solo performer. Last weekend I went to Wakefield for a two-day performance and this weekend I am in Havering."
Earlier this summer Pallavi, of Broomfield, won the outstanding artists award at the UK Bollywood Dance Championships.
These prestigious awards attracted 549 entrants in the initial stages and the Cheeky Girls were among the judges at the final held at the Hackney Empire.
Pallavi's prize was an enormous trophy and a year's professional dance training with the Honey Dance Academy which has branches across the UK and numerous contacts which, for successful students, can lead to professional performances and appearances in Bollywood films. Pallavi, who is going into Year 11 at Chelmer Valley High School and moved to Chelmsford from North Yorkshire two years ago, said: "I have been dancing since I was very small.
"I tried all different forms – ballet, modern, but love Bollywood. I am also training to teach Bollywood dance. It is very exciting. I'm really enjoying it.
"I'm very lucky as my family are very supportive.
"My mum dreamed of being a dancer when she was younger, and my dad fits taking me to lessons in Ilford round his job as a GP.
"I really hope to carry on dancing professionally, but as a career I want to go into medicine."