Additional magic to familiar story: BADA to perform ‘Cinderella,’ celebrate 30th anniversary

Commentary by Lucy Harden
Special to the Times-News

Burlington Academy of Dance & Arts (BADA) will perform 'Cinderella' at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. May 28 in McCrary Theatre on the Elon University campus. / Bob Stuart

I’ve been dancing since I was 2 1/2 years old, around 15 years in total.
To put that in perspective, I’ve been dancing at Burlington Academy of Dance & Arts (BADA) longer than I have  been in school. Throughout the years, I have been taught a variety of styles of dance: Jazz, Tap, Modern, Lyrical,  Hip-Hop, Acro, and even West-African dance. But in that time, I have most heavily focused on ballet. Each year  BADA gives two performances — a full-scale ballet and a separate show that displays all the other learned styles  of dance. This year is BADA’s 30th anniversary and we have a tradition, one older than I am, of performing  “Cinderella” as our ballet every five years; 2017 is a “Cinderella” year. In my years of participating in the yearly  ballet my roles have included: a spider, a Spanish princess attendant, a star, a peasant, a Lost Boy, a poppy, a  Winter Fairy attendant, an enchanted tree, a wedding guest, a ball guest and a cat. But, I am by far most excited  for my roles as a courtier and the Court Jester this year.
This journey of mine has not been an easy one. The phrase “I can’t, I have dance” was uttered on a daily basis.  There were many activities that I had to miss, birthday parties I couldn’t attend, and weekend trips that I needed  to skip because dance came first. Some of my favorite dance teachers came and went, and it was a constant  struggle to balance school, social, and dance life. But there was always a plus side to dancing. Having to juggle  being at the dance studio for up to six days a week with a full school course load, forces you to become an expert at time management. I have met some of my closest friends at BADA, had fabulous dance teachers who challenged and encouraged me, and had the thrill of performing on stage and at other community events.
Now as a high school senior, I look back at a decade and a half of dance and look forward to my future in dance. I will be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall, and hope to continue my dance education, either with formal classes or by participating recreationally. Dancing for the 30th anniversary of BADA seems like the perfect way to wrap up my high school dance career.
That is one reason I am so excited that BADA is performing “Cinderella” as my last ballet production. Everyone knows the story of “Cinderella,” but I feel like the BADA production adds a little extra magic to this familiar story. We have a Fairy Godmother, of course, but I can say that she has a few extra helpers. The costumes are beautiful, the ball is spectacular, and the ugly stepsisters live up to their names. Who doesn’t love a story where true love prevails? Come see it and you won’t be disappointed.

Lucy Harden is a senior at Eastern Alamance High School.

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