Anna: A Colorful Dancer

anna-mcgaryDid you see Anna McGary during finals week at Lafayette High? She was the one with the coloring book and the “gorgeous feet.”

Let me explain. The “gorgeous feet” comment comes from dance judges who have been dazzled by Anna’s exquisite technique.

An award-winner since she was 8, Anna last year was the first runner-up in the national Teen Miss Dance competition held in New Orleans by the Dance Masters of America.

At the same event, her team from Diana Evans School of Dance in Lexington won the Grand National Championship.

The coloring book? That’s a stress buster for Anna – not that she really needs one at school. She finished her sophomore year with straight A’s, which she does every year.

Her course load in 10th grade included advanced classes in biology, chemistry pre-calculus, French III, English and an A.P. world history.

Anna, 16, is a SCAPA student and started every school day with a ballet class.

No wonder she needed a coloring book.

“It’s very calming,” she said. “Kids at school said they wished they had one.”

Obviously, Anna embraces the unconventional. That’s why she got a unicycle for Christmas.

Coloring books and unicycles? It must work. Anna won schoolwide ballet, biology and pre-calculus awards this year, and Algebra, physical science and French II awards as a freshman.

spotlight-anna-mcgary-danceAnna also is a goal-oriented reader. She saw a list of the top 50 books you should read in high school and has whipped through 30 already.

But for all those interests, dance claims center stage for Anna. Her mother, Pam, was a majorette and a member of the Dance Cats at UK, and the two have appeared in shows together at the Lexington Children’s Theatre.

In high school, Anna has danced in “Shrek, the Musical,” “Grease” and “Les Miserables.” As a junior, she will add the school dance team to her schedule, which is already bursting at the seams.

A typical day includes an hour of ballet to start the day, an hour or two of rehearsal after school and then up to three hours of classes at Diana Evans after dinner. If a big competition is approaching, Anna will add a Saturday rehearsal to the schedule.

Burnout? No danger. When asked to explain the appeal of dance, she quoted from a song from the show “Billy Elliot.”

“I can’t really explain it
I haven’t got the words
It’s a feeling that you can’t control
I suppose it’s like forgetting,
losing who you are
And at the same time something makes you whole.”

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