A ballet dancer from Epping has been awarded a contract to work with the National Ballet of Portugal.

Joshua Earl, 20, a final year student at the Central School of Ballet in London, has been awarded a contract to work with Companhia Nacional de Bailado in the Portuguese capital Lisbon.

His success follows three years of training and he recently graduated with a BA in Professional Dance and Performance, which is validated by the University of Kent.

Joshua, who has performed as the Prince in Cinderella, said: "Joining the National Ballet of Portugal is fulfilling my long-held dream.

"I'm delighted to have this chance to learn from the company, its choreographers and my fellow dancers."

Sara Matthews, director of the Central School of Ballet, said: "I am proud that so many of our graduating students have been able to achieve such fantastic contracts despite the challenging economic climate.

"This is an excellent opportunity for Joshua, one of our brightest students. We will follow his progress with interest."