BUZZING with excited chatter and body heat from so many ballerinas piled together getting ready for the show, the room is a picture of organised chaos.

I roll up my ballet tights, put on the leotard, lace my pointe shoes, put on the long ballet dress and place the flowers in my hair. As I look in the mirror in full costume I start to get into character.

You never lose the thrill of going out on stage and, as the adrenaline flows, time goes by so quickly the show is over before you know it.

Once it’s finished little things start to niggle. Did we completely mess that up we ask ourselves. However, as trained ballerinas we know that any mistakes probably won’t be detectable to the audience.

When things do go wrong, as it did when I accidentally pulled the flowers from another ballerina’s hair, you have to be professional and carry on regardless.

Your body does suffer as a ballet dancer and feet can be painful, especially if you forget your toe pads. After a show they ache, but we can’t soak them because then they get soft, so it’s best to let them dry out.

In ballet you need to be a certain size, but I have always gone with the flow and haven’t needed to worry too much. I’m 5ft 6in and 5ft 8in en point. They don’t like you to be too tall, or you will be taller than the male dancers. I’m a size eight and I don’t struggle to stay that size because we burn so much when dancing. It’s only when you stop dancing for a while that you gain weight and have to cut back a bit.

I started going to classes where I lived in Somerset at just four years old and I hated it. When I went back two years later I started to fall in love with ballet and really focused.

By 15, I was dancing every day for two or three hours in preparation for auditioning for a place at a college. It was quite intense, but I was determined. What you quickly learn in ballet is that there are two sides to it: The dancing and the acting. We were taught the techniques of ballet and also how to get into character.

In 2002, I got a place in the English Youth Ballet production of the Nutcracker where I was part of the ensemble.

At this time I wanted to be doing everything all at once so I would teach and then perform in the evening.

We would start rehearsals for the show in the morning, break for lunch and, depending whether it was a full run through, we would finish between 4pm and 6pm. From there I would go on to teach a few classes and then get back to the theatre for the 7.30pm performance.

I sacrificed having a steady relationship at that time because I was so busy. But all of my friends are dancers in the same position, so I didn’t miss out too much.

Things are more settled in my life now. I moved to Colchester from London a year ago and started teaching at the Catherine Pickering Dance School.

At 27, I am considered quite old in the ballet word because there are girls coming in who are 18, 19 all the time and so my performing days are slowing down.

Now my passion is teaching and I have helped students get into the Royal Academy of Dance.

I love what I do and ballet will always be a part of my life.