EdWatch: St. E's senior overcomes partial blindness to dance in internat'l competition

By Amy Cherry 7:42pm, April 2, 2013
St. Elizabeth's High School ballerina is on the West Coast, doing some of the most importance dancing she'll ever do in her life, and she's prevailed over a disability to get there.

WDEL's Amy Cherry has more in this week's WDEL Delaware EducationWatch.

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Ana MacElvray, a senior at St. Elizabeth's High School, has overcome extraordinary odds to represent Delaware in Dance Excellence, an international dance competition in Los Angeles.

She's been dancing since she was four-years-old, but last year had to get a cornea transplant due to a medical mistake.

She hasn't regained vision in her left eye, but that hasn't stopped her from dancing.

"It's just been my passion. I love it, and anything I'd be going through in life, happiness, sad, that's how I communicate," she says.

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Regaining balance was an issue, but when I asked about her biggest challenge--she didn't even bring up the blindness in one eye.

"It's a little thing, but biting my lip is a huge challenge. When I'm trying, I bite my lips in dance, and I always get yelled at for it, and I'm trying to break the habit before I go farther," she says.

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Her forte is pointe ballet.

"I started early. I started at 10. It depends on how strong your ankles are, I just kept going. I knew I wanted it, and I think that it's at the age 13, you really decide if you want to do this with your life because it's a full commitment," says MacElvray.

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She says for some dances she has to dig deep to find the character, but not with ballet.

"I don't really have to find something because I just feel it. That's how I know ballet is what I really want to do," she says.

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She'll move on to study dance in college and advises other dance lovers to see her success story.

"It's just a good feeling to know that a profession that's really not as popular as it used to be, especially ballet, you can still make it. You can still get there," she says.

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