HE learnt his first dance moves when he was just two and now George-Murray Nightingale is in demand all over the world.

The former Twiss Green Primary School pupil has been away from home for a decade while making a name for himself everywhere from the English National Ballet to Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium.

George is currently based in Melbourne with The Australian Ballet, the largest classical ballet company Down Under.

But talking to Weekend is bringing back memories of growing up in Culcheth.

He said: "My older sister, Sophie, used to take ballet lessons and as a baby my mum would take me to pick her up from her class.

"My mum said I used to watch at the door and just copy everything she was doing so when I was old enough I started the baby ballet class and the rest is history."

That first taste of what was going to become a huge part of his life was at Kathleen Atherton Academy of Dance in Leigh and he has barely stopped since then.

The 21-year-old added: "I never realised I had a talent and I always say that ballet chose me. I just loved ballet so much that I would give up on birthday parties and school trips because I didn’t want to miss my ballet lesson.

"I think what appealed to me about it originally was the music, it just pumped something inside of my body and made me get up and dance."

George's passion for a female-dominated industry did not make his formative years any easier though. He had to put up with people picking on him at school.

He said: "I wouldn’t say I was bullied but I did get picked on a little but I didn’t care. I am a strong person and have never listened or done anything because people told me to.

"I just do what feels natural to me. I have the closest fanbase of about five friends who have supported me since I was four and they treat me like a superstar whenever I am home."

George's big break occurred shortly after he successfully auditioned for The Hammond, a performing arts school in Chester.

He added: "My first huge opportunity was when I was 11 and got asked to represent The Hammond at Sadlers Wells Theatre in London in a gala showing where government's funding was going for dancers.

"That was a huge honour and I will always remember it. Going on stage is so numbing in a way.

"You have worked for everyday for months preparing for a performance and before you know it, its over – like an out of body experience."

Day to day life at The Hammond was a big culture change too with George describing it as the Fame Academy of the dance world.

He said: "Coming from a village where there are next to no opportunities for male dancers, my family and I didn’t know anything about ballet or vocational dance schools.

"It was all by luck that I got offered a place at The Hammond so I had no Idea what I was getting myself into.

"All I knew is that I wanted to dance and at this school I could do it all day and get a private education. I was so excited."

After five years at The Hammond, George joined the English National Ballet in London where he competed in the Cecchetti Classical Ballet Vocational Awards and qualified to compete in the final in Richmond, Virginia.

After graduating in 2015 he joined the National Romanian Ballet.

It was there that George got his first solo role as Lysander in The Dream, a ballet choreographed by The Royal Ballet's Fredrick Ashton based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. He was just 19.

George then faced a setback when he snapped a ligament in his ankle and returned to the UK for a rehab programme.

When he recovered he took trips to London every day for lessons as he was determined not to fall behind.

George added: "I used to do a six-hour round trip daily to London to take ballet class as well as work as a paper boy to pay for my train fare.

"The north west has great places to learn to dance. However as a professional coming back from an almost career-ending injury I needed somewhere where the teachers were going to push me to my physical maximum and teachers that knew my body and how I dance.

"I think the north west needs more opportunities for dancers. I would love to see a dance convention or festival up north celebrating its talent."

George got back on to the international dance circuit with a brief stint at the Royal Ballet of Flanders.

Then he jumped at an opportunity to join The Australian Ballet in Melbourne. He had to hit the ground running with 10 days to learn Sleeping Beauty before a tour.

He said: "It was surreal however I pick up choreography fast and with the dancers helping me I had such fun. The production was grand and so regal that I just felt like I had made it.

"I am incredibly thankful to say I am a member in one of the world's leading ballet companies. A highlight so far has been walking into the Sydney Opera House to start performing on a seven-week run of Nutcracker.

"My ambition is to have a long successful career and to repay my family and friends for all their support.

"I dream of becoming a principal dancer and to become more internationally known however I want to be able to look back at my career once I have retired and just remember how much fun I had dancing and touring the world."