A former rally driver has become the UK's first openly transgender ballet dancer.
Sophie Rebecca, 37, from Leeds, is the first transgender woman ever to pass exams at the Royal Ballet Academy - despite towering over her fellow dancers at 6ft 3in.
The proud IT technician only began transitioning into a female two years ago and has since taken the dancing world by storm.
"Before transitioning into a woman I looked to other people like a typical bloke - I was into rally racing and shooting,” Sophie says.
"But I was far from it, I knew from a young age that I was trapped in the wrong body.
"Since starting ballet and taking female hormones my life has changed so much, I finally feel happy in my own skin.
"Knowing I wouldn't develop any further into a man was amazing, I've never been a man, I was just born one.”
Sophie now trains four times per week and has an incredible collection of handmade tutus and leotards.
The dancer, who was born a boy called James, started her transformation at the age of 35.
Sophie tried to learn to ballet dance while still living as a man - but found no-one would teach her to dance female parts.
"I wanted to dance like the woman I was inside, but while being James it wasn't possible,” she says.
"I've always wanted to be a dancer, ever since I was little and I saw the Nutcracker being performed by some dancers of Blue Peter.
"I was mesmerised, but everyone told me that boys didn't wear tutus.”
Now she is hoping to inspire other people to chase their dreams no matter their age.
"Due to the hormones in my body my strength and stamina for ballet isn't as good as it once was but I'm improving each week,” she says.
"I work from home and every time I get slightly stressed, I practice and let off some steam."
Sophie recalls how she only had female friends at school and struggled to understand why she was born a boy.
"I've always felt far more comfortable about being in the company of women,” Sophie says.
Now she feels like she's going through puberty for the second time.
"It's a strange feeling but as I now have female hormones, I have noticed my body changing shape and feel different in so many ways,” she explains.
"The female role in ballet is so feminine and I'm able to fully embrace myself as the person I have always been.
“I wish I wasn’t over 6ft but my long limbs do work well with certain ballet moves.
"Often transgender people are portrayed negatively but I am a normal person who is fulfilling their passion.
"If anyone reading my story can gain strength to live out their dreams then it's worthwhile."
With additional reporting by Caters News.