Ten years ago this month, family, friends and school staff flocked to see Knoxland Primary pupil Scott McKenzie star as Oliver at Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre.

Even at the age of 11, it was clear the Dumbarton youngster had something special – and this early taste of the big stage was to kick-start an extraordinary journey, which has taken him all the way to London’s West End, playing the iconic role of Billy Elliot, and beyond.

Now, those wanting to see Scott perform will have to travel all the way to the Vienna State Ballet, where the 21-year-old is currently enjoying his third season with the one of the world’s top ballet companies.

Since being in Vienna, Scott has had the chance to perform in around 15 productions per year and has also been on tour to Madrid, Tokyo and Osaka.

“The tours are always crazy,” he said. “In Tokyo there was a massive mob of ballet fans waiting at the stage door trying to get autographs and photos.

“Some of them have even travelled from Japan to watch us.”

During his time in Austria, Scott has been promoted to demi-soloist, and has had the opportunity to partner a major prima ballerina from the Bolshoi Ballet, Olga Smirnova in romantic ballet Giselle – an experience he describes as “surreal”.

But despite his tremendous success, Scott is refreshingly honest about the hard work, effort and sheer pain it has taken to get to this point.

“It’s surreal every time you go up on stage, but it just becomes part of your normal routine,” he told the Reporter.

“We are really lucky to be paid to do a job we love, but you wouldn’t be a dancer if you didn’t love it because of the amount of pain you have to go through.

“People think it’s jumping around doing frilly things for a couple of minutes, but it’s a hell of a lot more than that. They don’t realise how athletic ballet is, especially for guys, because there is so much strength that comes into it.

“A ballet dancer will work from ten till six every day and then go on and do a three-hour performance at night.”

From a young age, Scott has become adept at handling the demands of performing week in, week out on a major stage.

At the age of 12, he moved to London alone and into the “intense” environment of a shared house with the other principal cast children, as he became one of four Billy Elliots sharing the role.

“You do two or three shows a week and you’re on stage 90 per cent of the time, which is quite demanding for a 12 or 13 year old,” he said.

“I went to Dumbarton Academy, but I was only there for one or two days every three weeks and then I had to get all the work for the following three weeks and do it in London with a tutor.”

Scott landed the Billy Elliot role after his mum and dad saw a newspaper advert about auditions in Newcastle.

The whole audition process took about two and a half years, and by the time he had finished the role at the Victoria Palace Theatre, he had played Billy in 100 shows – and set his sights on a career as a ballet dancer.

“I got the chance to watch the Royal Ballet perform and to go backstage and meet all the dancers and I think that’s what kicked it off,” he said.

“From the moment I saw that, I knew it was what I wanted to do.”

After returning to Scotland and spending a year at the Dance School of Scotland, life soon began to imitate art, as one week into a two-week summer school, Scott, like Billy, was offered a full-time place at the Royal Ballet School by the institution’s director.

While describing the training as “amazing”, Scott admitted the strict and disciplined regime was difficult to adjust to, making it the “best and worst four years of his life”.

But that tough time has made his current success all the more sweet – success which he insists he owes to his family who have supported his dream since he was a child at the Jan Sutherland School of Dance in Alexandria.

His parents Jane and Peter, who still live in Dumbarton East, will be flying out to Vienna to watch Scott perform as Fritz in the Nutcracker on Christmas Day.

“From the very beginning, they knew I wanted to do this,” he said, “and they have helped me every step of the way - whether it’s been financially or emotionally, they’ve been so good.

“I can’t stress enough - I wouldn’t be doing what I was doing if it wasn’t for my family.”