TO celebrate the Year of Young People, every week in 2018 The National is giving a platform to a different young Scot. This week, 11-year-old Charlotte Maurer.

I BECAME a “panto babe” for Beauty and the Beast at the King’s Theatre by auditioning at my dance school, Edinburgh Dance Academy. We were given a piece of choreography, learned it, and then performed it in groups.

The audition was great fun – I loved it! About 50 children auditioned and I was lucky to be chosen because all the children who auditioned were very good.

This is my fifth panto – I started dancing nine years ago, when I was two. I love everything about dancing. It’s really fun and it keeps me fit, and I’ve also made lots of great friends.

I was really excited to meet the cast of this year’s panto – including Allan Stewart and Grant Stott, and Gillian Parkhouse who plays Beauty. They were all funny and are very kind to the babes.

As a panto babe you get to wear lots of costumes – a different one for each dance! I love them! This year my favourite is the cupcake costume. I also like wearing make-up on stage. We get to wear eyeliner, lipstick and mascara.

I don’t get nervous performing any more, but in my first year appearing in a panto I was really nervous in case I messed up or forgot my steps.

We are taught really well at Edinburgh Dance Academy and we have lots of help at rehearsals from the choreographer Alan Harding, the assistant choreographer Sharon Harding, plus our principal Miss Mitchell and her assistant Miss Hannah.

Of the five pantos I’ve been part of, Cinderella last year was my favourite. We had lots of dances and different costumes.

Performing in front of hundreds of people feels really good – I like making other people happy.

I want to be a professional dancer when I grow up, so I would like to go to a stage school.

At the moment I do 23 different classes per week – mostly ballet along with jazz, contemporary, commercial, acro, limbering, performance group and tap. I think that’s them all!

Beauty and the Beast is on at the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh until January 20.

See for ticket information.