They had performed a duet in, in which the prince passes a note to the ballerina.

They had danced it many times but, on this particular evening, instead of the note being blank, it read, ‘Will you marry me?

She was at an ordinary primary school then, and took ballet lessons at weekends.

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‘We went into the shower because the acoustics are better in there, and I sang the number for him.

No accompaniment, just me with Christopher’s i Phone thrust in my face while he filmed me singing.

The chorus girl plucked from anonymity to become star of the show is the stuff of Hollywood movies, but just occasionally life really does imitate art.

Three and a half years ago, Leanne Cope was a dancer with the Royal Ballet, one of many swans pirouetting her way through six performances of Swan Lake a week.

’, the musical recently moved to London’s West End, where it received an incredible 28 five-star reviews and now has an extended run at the Dominion Theatre until January.

Leanne, 33, who had never spoken on stage before, has been a revelation.

’ Leanne read it, somehow kept her composure and danced on.

Many people who have seen An American in Paris have remarked on how much Leanne looks like Leslie Caron, but there’s more than a hint of Audrey Hepburn, too. Ring, Sif Jakobs Jewellery After the performance, Paul went down on one knee and produced a ring in front of the whole troupe: ‘It was a huge surprise because Paul is usually so cool, whereas I wear my heart on my sleeve,’ she says.

I thought the audition was going to be hard but it was really just skipping and pointing, very basic stuff.

What they’re checking is that you’re coordinated and you have the kind of body that can cope with the strains ballet puts on it.’She was offered a place and, aged 11, left home to board. My mum had done ballroom dancing as a teenager but had given it up.

She has spent the morning painting walls at her home in Southwest London with her father Mike and husband Paul Kay, a Royal Ballet soloist: ‘Broadway was fabulous but it’s lovely to be home,’ she says. She is the daughter of a hairdresser and a builder’s labourer from Bath who had never even seen a ballet when she was selected to audition – and won a place – at White Lodge, the Royal Ballet School.