The 'Billy Elliot' cast member killed on Thursday evening by a double-decker bus in London was a young girl simply "living her dream as a dancer," her family said.

Charlotte Leatherbarrow, 12, was crossing a road near her home when she was struck down. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The schoolgirl reportedly played the role of a young ballerina in the long-running West End stage production, which features an award-winning score composed by Sir Elton John.

The grieving family said, "Charlotte was a fun-loving, thoughtful, caring and bubbly girl. She loved life and lived it to the full. Each and every one of us will miss her enormously."

A spokesman for the production said, "The cast, crew and production team of 'Billy Elliot the Musical' were devastated to hear the tragic news about 12-year-old Charlotte Leatherbarrow, one of the show's young performers. At this terribly sad time, our thoughts are with her family."

Charlotte was hit by the bus while crossing Herne Hill Road in southeast London on Thursday evening. The bus driver, treated at the scene, escaped without serious injury. The accident is being investigated by police.