Cheryl Fernandez-Versini wanted to be a ballerina.

The former Girls Aloud singer was keen to pursue a career in dance when she was a youngster but her dreams were shattered when she was made to feel like an outsider during her weekly ballet lessons.

She said: ''I wanted to be a ballerina. I did ballet from that young. And then I went to the Royal Ballet [summer school] when I was nine or 10. Hated it. Squashed the dream. It wasn't me. I didn't fit in. I had to be sponsored to go there because my parents couldn't afford to send us there, and everyone else was - obviously... Basically I was a bit of an outcast.''

The 31-year-old beauty - who has gone on to have a successful solo career - believes her social status played a role in her feeling uncomfortable in class.

Speaking to The Times newspaper, she explained: ''It was the first time I'd ever felt class. I didn't know what it was. Everyone around was normal to me. There was this thing, and we were all on the same level...

''I didn't understand it. I just knew it was different. And that they were looking down their noses, if you like.

''But I couldn't express it. was out of place. I think about nine-year-old me, and I think, 'That must have been hard.' Hard enough for me to go home to me parents and say, 'This is not what I want to do anymore.' ''