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Darcey Bussell reveals ballet was a 'revelation' during child dyslexia

Dame Darcey Bussell attends the Wicked 15th anniversary gala performance at Apollo Victoria Theatre on September 28, 2021 in London, England
Darcey Bussell had a successful career as a professional ballerina for 20 years. (Getty Images)

Darcey Bussell has revealed that ballet was "a revelation" during her childhood struggle with dyslexia.

The former ballerina, 53, says that after discovering dance, she found somewhere she "could succeed" outside the classroom.

Speaking to The Independent, she recalled: “Ballet was a revelation for me. [It helped me] know that I could succeed.

"I was very dyslexic, and I really found that I had to find my niche somewhere [outside of the classroom].”

Darcey Bussell attends a photocall ahead of World Ballet Day 2021 at The Royal Opera House on October 18, 2021 in London, England
The star was a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet (pictured at the Royal Opera House on World Ballet Day 2021). (Getty Images)

According to the British Dyslexia Association,, dyslexia is decribed as a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.

Bussell, who began dancing at the age of 13 at White Lodge, the lower school of the Royal Ballet, insisted that she wasn't a natural dancer.

Read more: Dame Darcey Bussell quit Strictly because bosses wanted to ignore ballet background

She said: "My mum sent me [to ballet lessons] because I had very knock knees."

Additionally, the star noted that it was rare for ballerinas to be as tall as her, meaning that she had to "really break that mould and that was difficult”.

 Darcey Bussell poses following an Investiture ceremony, where she was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace on May 4, 2018 in London, England
She was awarded a damehood for services to dance at Buckingham Palace in 2018. (Getty Images)

Bussell worked her way up through the Royal Ballet School and joined the company in 1988, before being promoted to 'Principal' just a year later aged 20.

She retired from dancing professionally aged 38 in 2007, and then spent seven years as a TV judge on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

Read more: Holly Willoughby praised by parents for opening up about her dyslexia in sweet Instagram post

The star, now a mother of two, revealed in November that she had quit the BBC series because producers didn't want to refer to her ballet background.

Her comments about her dyslexia come after a number of celebrities have opened up about their experiences, including Richard Branson and Holly Willoughby.

The This Morning presenter was praised for disclosing that she had the condition in a post on Instagram last year while celebrating that her school friend, a fellow dyslexia sufferer, had published a children's book.

Watch: Darcey Bussell recieve her damehood at Buckingham Palace