An Irish ballet dancer who took up dancing just three years ago has been offered a Russian state scholarship to train at the prestigious Perm State ballet school.

19-year-old Anthony White, from Rathmines in Dublin, is the only Irish dancer in the school.

He had feared he would have to quit his tuition after one year.

Anthony took his first ballet class in the Monica Loughman Ballet studio in Dublin three years ago when he was 16 years old.

Ms Loughman immediately spotted his talent.

Anthony said: "she pulled me into the office after [the class] and said I want you to start full time tomorrow. So I did.

"After 10 months I  was accepted to Vaganova, the top ballet school in Russia but I couldn't go".

His parents could not afford the expensive fees which are around €15,000 a year and Anthony was not successful in getting an Arts Council grant.

He did not give up on his dream of being a professional dancer and decided to drop out of school to dedicate his time to dancing.

He said: "I took that year off school to try and see if i could make it work. I was either going to do ballet or go to school".

Anthony did not want to do both saying: "I'd rather leave ballet and do well at school or vice versa than be mediocre at both".

His decision paid off and the following year he was accepted to another prestigious Russian ballet school; the Perm State ballet school. This time he accepted.

"It was very expensive for my family but we had other family members and friends who helped us out. "It was hard but they made it happen".

Within a month of beginning his tuition he performed in a show and was later chosen to perform a duet.

He has now completed his first year and is home for the summer.

A €6,000 price increase left Anthony fearing he would not be able to return in September.

But he has now been offered a Russian state scholarship to fund his tuition for the next three years.

He is the first foreign student to receive this scholarship. 

He features in the latest edition of Dancing Times which describes his progress as remarkable.