A MUM said her young daughter has been put off ballet for life after she was told she was not allowed to perform while her hair was braided.

Nine-year-old Eve Elliott started dancing at the Hereford Ballet School six months ago and was part of the 3Shires Ballet Associates group.

The group were rehearsing for a performance at the Herefordshire Performing Arts Festival at The Courtyard when a week before the event Eve returned to the ballet school with her hair in braids.

The school’s principal Helen Dubovie Brown told Eve’s mum Lara Evans her daughter’s new hairstyle did not fit in with the strict dress code for the performance.

She said all the girls needed to have their hair smoothed back into a bun – as Eve had before her hair was braided. But Ms Evans didn’t think it was compulsory to take out the braids.

The 29-year-old from Moorfields, said: “Helen said she didn’t want Eve to have the braids in because it made her look different to everybody else.

“She didn’t once say that if they weren’t removed she wouldn’t be able to perform.”

But when Ms Evans told Ms Dubovie Brown that Eve had decided against altering her braided hairstyle, the school principal sent a text message the night before the performance saying Eve would not be allowed to perform.

Ms Evans said she believed the hairstyle – where the braids remain close to the scalp – was still within the guidelines as Eve could still pull it back into a bun.

She said her daughter was left heartbroken at missing out.

“It just means she doesn’t want to dance or do any ballet anymore,” Lara added.

“She wants to do something different now.”

Eve did perform her dance in the family’s front room and asked her mum to film it and put it online.

“I have been inundated with messages of support and she has been offered a place at a new dance school,” Ms Evans added.

Hereford Ballet School declined to comment.