The Santa Clarita Ballet Academy will send another dancer to participate in the Royal Academy of Dance Genée International Competition for the second consecutive year.
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Alexandra “Ali” Finley, 19, graduated from Hart High School in 2015 as valedictorian and is currently a Regent Scholar at UC Berkeley’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
“She’s obviously a very dedicated student,” said Corinne Glover, director of Santa Clarita Ballet Academy. “She has a certain display of unusual drive and discipline…She’s a bit unusual in that she can juggle school and dancing.”
In preparation for the event, Finley split her time between a full course load at Berkeley and studying ballet. Finley even returns to Santa Clarita every two weeks to train at the Santa Clarita Ballet Academy, but when she cannot return, she trains at the Berkeley Ballet Theater.
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The Royal Academy of Dance Genée International Competition will be held in Sydney, Australia, from Wednesday, December 7 to Friday, December 9, and is limited to the top 100 dancers from their applicant pool.
Finley was even selected as one of 10 competitors worldwide to receive the Darcey Bussell Award to help cover her travel expenses.
“It’s an amazing experience, and I think it’s part of the ‘finals,'” Glover said. “She said her dream was to dance professionally before working in engineering and IT, and knowing Ali, she probably will.”
Finley is currently in Australia preparing for the competition.
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