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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Ballerina dances dreams

The prima ballerina glides onto the stage; all eyes focus on her. As she gracefully takes her position, the lights glitter off the reflection of the jewels encrusting her tutu. The orchestra?s music slowly swells, and the dance begins.

For campus junior Meghan Anderson, dreams of starring in a ballet production have come true. Anderson took the leading role of Alice for cast AB in the Cynthia Merrill School of Performing Arts production of Alice In Wonderland, on April 29-30 and May 6-7.

Anderson, who started dancing when she was three years old, put months of preparation into her role.

?We practiced for this show for months,? Anderson said. ?We actually started relatively late, since we normally start practicing during Christmas vacation, but I think it went pretty well.?

Anderson played the role of Alice for the AB cast, and on the CD cast she was a background dancer.

Anderson found the challenge of playing two roles especially difficult.

?I felt like I danced and acted the best that I could, but it was hard because I played two roles,? Anderson said. ?I mixed up my dances sometimes, so I don?t think my CD role was as good as it could have been. Once, when I was dancing my CD role solo, I completely forgot it and had to make it up as I went.?

While ballet takes a grueling physical toll on many of its participants, Anderson finds dancing to be something of a therapeutic experience.

?I love the feeling you get when you?re dancing,? Anderson said. ?When I dance, it completely takes away the pain of any problems you might have. Dancing makes you feel free.?

The stereotypical images of graceful ballerinas can be countered when one considers the inevitable awkward moments that occur in the world of dance.

?One day, before a performance, I was in my dressing room,? Anderson said. ?While I was changing, I fell backwards and slammed into a pole sticking out of the wall. I completely bruised my tailbone, and the entire dressing room was laughing at me.?

Some of the best moments of Anderson?s career in ballet have come at times when she was not actually dancing.

?In between performances, my friends and I sit outside and have a picnic,? Anderson said. ?It is so nice to sit out in the beautiful sun and relax.?

In her role, Anderson played the part of Alice, the spunky and curious heroine of Lewis Carroll?s classic children?s tale, Alice In Wonderland. In the story, Alice falls through a rabbit hole and finds herself in the curious world of Wonderland, where nothing is as it seems. As she tries to find her way back home, Alice encounters all manner of strange beings, including a crazed queen, a mad hatter and the perennially late white rabbit.

For Anderson, the role was the capstone of years of dance practice.

?I?m kind of sad it?s all over,? Anderson said. ?It?s my last Garden Ballet, but I?m happy because I got such a great part for my last role.?

The ballet was directed by the school?s founder, Cynthia Merrill, and showed at the Veteran?s Memorial Concert Hall.

For more information on the Cynthia Merrill School of Performing Arts, visit www.cmerrilldance.com.

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