WHILE many youngsters aspire to be pop stars living in the celebrity limelight, Hannah Levitt-Collins had her sights set on being a backing dancer to the stars.

And even though the former Romsey school pupil did not start dancing until her teens she now dances and works with A list stars such as Katy Perry, Robbie Williams and Kylie.

In fact if you have ever thought the backing dancers on shows like X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and Lipsync UK often outshine the main performer, it may well have been Hannah who stole the show.

With her drop-dead gorgeous looks and exceptional dance moves, professional model and dancer Hannah is in demand on all the top TV shows both in the UK and abroad and she has even appeared in films such as Star Wars and Beauty and the Beast.

Hannah’s earliest memory is of dancing to MTV so it is no surprise that she chose a career doing what she loves.

“I was that child in front of MTV dancing and copying everything! I must have been four. I loved Michael Jackson and Kylie Minogue but I was really an outdoors person and into my sport. My sister was into dance.”

But eventually, after going with her mum to pick her sister up from the Jane Mackinnon School of Dance at Nursling, Southampton, Hannah decided to give it a go.

Most of her friends had been dancing since they were four but Hannah was 13 when she took up ballet, tap, modern and jazz with classes four times a week.

“I never wanted to be a ballerina; jazz is the main thing I found easy,” said Hannah who, just two years later, aged 15, successfully auditioned for a professional dance school in London – the Stella Mann Performing Arts College and started there full-time aged 16. She completed a three-year course in musical theatre and dance.

“It was full-on training five times a week in every genre. It was crazy going from school and living in Bedford with other girls from the college who were older than me and ‘Mother Hen-ed’ me. I was lucky I never got homesick – but my mum was! I now think ‘how did I do that?’, but I felt comfortable there.

“I always wanted to be a dancer – to do pop videos and tours. Most people would say ‘I want to be Beyonce’ but I wanted to be the dancer. I love musical theatre too and I thought about it but my first job was a commercial job, The Clothes Show Live, which is still one of the biggest jobs for a dancer with seven shows a day! I felt quite lucky. I was only 19.

“It’s far harder for girls, too, as it’s a lot more competitive. There are four girls for every guy and everyone is great at what they do. They are just as talented and just as beautiful as each other – they just have that extra spark.”

So what is the secret of her success?

“For me you have to be so driven, but there is so much you must do like promoting yourself. You are your own PA and you must make sure you are bookable. You must go with the right style of picture and you must be able to walk into a room and perform – and I’ve always been very good at that.

“Every dancer has rejection but you must be able to pick yourself up from that. And self-employment is difficult too. With musical theatre you have the security blanket of a contract for a year but with me it’s two weeks or just a day’s work at a time. It’s up and down all the time.”

As we spoke, Hannah was waiting to hear back from two possible jobs – one with a major sports brand in Spain and the other with the TV show Let’s Dance in Germany. She let me know the following day that she had been offered and had taken the Let’s Dance job and was leaving for Germany a couple of days later.

“It’s a juggling game,”she explained.

She has previously been involved in Dance, Dance, Dance in Germany and was a resident dancer on X Factor. There have also been music videos and “random one-off gigs” .

“I really enjoyed working in Germany last year. It’s lovely to be able to travel. I worked for Dolce & Gabbana in Shanghai and loads of lovely places”.

“I’ve done adverts for the M&S Christmas campaign. Two years ago I was the featured dancer in a Christmas tree – that was a lovely job to work on.”

Aside from the TV shows, Hannah has danced for stars such as Robin Thicke, Katy Perry, Olly Murs, Alesha Dixon, Kylie, Robbie Williams, the Kooks, Scouting for Girls, One Republic and Skunk Anansie.

And she has worked for brands such as D&G, Agent Provocateur, Wella, Clarks, Adidas, Harvey Nichols, Nivea M&S, Very and Ministry of Sound.

She worked on Star Wars The Force Awakens in the stunts team and as a double for Rey. In May she has another movie coming out: King Arthur directed by Guy Richie in which she doubles for another actress.

“I have travelled so much over the years which is what I always wanted. I have worked in so many areas of the industry; from shows performing for 10,000 people, to music videos, to photo shoots, to fashion shows, to TV shows viewed in millions of people’s homes!”

Meeting the stars is good too, but Hannah clearly isn’t star-struck.

“Obviously meeting the artists is great. Kylie was amazing, Robbie was ‘sick’ and Katy Perry was lovely but it’s really nice meeting the people behind the scenes, like the creative directors and the people who do the lighting and props. Working on Star Wars, I couldn’t believe the props involved.”

Pushed to reveal her biggest highlight, she said doing the Brit Awards with Robbie Williams: “There were 40 girls on stage dancing with him. It was just amazing. It was such a nice thing to do especially with all these hugely famous people watching you.”

“Performing live can be nerve wracking. It’s okay, though, you just try to think of the people in the room and not the millions watching! That feeling you get just before you go out on stage and when you come off is such a buzz.”

But who had she enjoyed working with most?

“Kylie – only because as a child I loved her and watched her touring video over and over again. She’s one of the nicest people – really sweet and really appreciative.”

And what is Hannah’s advice to anyone wanting to follow in her footsteps?

“Go for it! Work hard; chase your dreams. Be as thick-skinned as possible and be determined. Also, keep learning. I still go to classes at Pineapple (commercial dance classes) and to Studio 68 in London – everything from hip-hop to jazz and I train there. And I have trained in LA when I’m on holiday because you have to keep going: use it or you’ll lose it!

"You can’t become complacent. Whenever I have a spare moment I go to class and make sure I’m on top of my game. There’s a lot of admin behind the scenes, too, and you have to make sure your agents have your showreel!”

“You must be dedicated and put work before everything. I do come home quite a lot as my family are there. I’m such a country girl. I love going home and turning off the phone. But I will miss birthdays and weddings if I get a work call wanting to fly me off the Shanghai etc. I’ve even driven home and immediately had to turn round and drive back to London for work – you have to be on call."