RAWLINS, Wyo. — Former Secretary of State and retired Four-Star General Colin Powell once stated, “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”

Local ballet dancers Alyssa Arnold and Sarah Brewer have grown into testaments of that quote as longtime dancers at the Cedar Street Studios in Rawlins under director Callie Taylor, and both are already considering pursuing professional dancing careers, despite neither being in high school yet.

“I want to go to college for dance,” Arnold said of her future plans. “I made a goal when I was in sixth grade to get into a college for dance and so I have been working on my technique since then.”

Arnold’s main goal is to dance at Brigham Young University, a school that has been a part of her family for her entire life, attending both Cougars games and dance performances with her family.

“My family grew up loving it and I have loved it ever since,” she said.

Arnold started dancing when she was three because her friends danced, but since she has come to love dance on her own.

“At first it was because of my friends but then I started loving dancing even more,” she said. “All my friends stopped dancing and I was like the only one that continued.”

Unlike Arnold, Brewer said she has always loved to dance but started her dancing practice five years ago after watching several Barbie ballet movies. Her future goals include a possible appearance on the hit TV show Dance Moms, a show that follows a dance studio in Pittsburgh.

“I definitely love Dance Moms,” she said. “Even though it is not all ballet, I would love to be on it one day.”

Performing multiple parts over the weekend in Cedar Street Studio’s production of Sleeping Beauty as well as taking part in the Nutcracker over the years, both girls have had to overcome a lot in their time as dancers.

“I did cross country for the fall and then for the winter I did swimming, so I only had a two-week break in between those sports,” Arnold said. “I was still dancing at the same time as doing all of that.”

Despite the girls both experiencing success on the stage, both said prior to their performance that they have come close to hanging up the slippers on occasion.

“There was a time I did the nutcracker and I was like ‘I’ve done everything already’,” Brewer said. “But then I was like ‘I am going to keep on going.'”

Arnold said she too has grown tired of dancing, but credits her director Taylor’s support for deciding to re-enter ballet.

“Sometimes I get confused so she has to go over it with me quite a few times,” she said. “Then I get it and it is like muscle memory to me. I always hear her counting it in my head on stage and so that helps me a lot.”

Speaking high on their development skills and dedication, Brewer said the two have a lot to be proud of.

“You definitely have to be super strong and be able to stay up really late,” she said. “And dance your heart out.”


Information from: Rawlins (Wyo.) Daily Times, http://www.rawlinstimes.com

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MATHEW MCKAY
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