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Rachel Luna, Staff Writer
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune
May 17, 2011

 

 

Growing up in Glendora, Charlie Anderson remembers the countless days of doing school work in the car as his parents drove him back from ballet classes in Anaheim. From a young age, it was dedication, determination and sacrifice that drove his desire to pursue the arts. Now, at 23, Anderson is part of the elite world-renowned Royal Danish Ballet company, based in Copenhagen.

The dancer will make his homecoming performance and debut Tuesday through May 29 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. The performance will mark the company’s first Southern California appearance in more than 15 years.

“I’m really looking forward to coming home because none of my family has ever seen me dance (professionally) before or haven’t seen me dance since I was maybe 10 or 11 years old,” Anderson said. “I’m really excited to show them what I’ve been doing for the past couple of years since I’ve been living in Denmark,” he added.

Founded in 1748, the Royal Danish Ballet is the third-oldest ballet company in the world. The company’s ballet style – from its Bournonville tradition to modern – along with its rich history, has established the company as one of the top five performing arts companies in the world.

“I really love performing. … The combination of the beautiful music, the orchestra and setting steps to music is an inspiring experience to me,” Anderson said. “I feel like when I’m dancing in Denmark, I’m giving that inspiration to a lot of people who I don’t really know and I’m happy to give that experience – especially to those who I do know.”

The dancer discovered his love of performing arts as a 10-year- old when his Danish grandfather took him to local performing arts theaters around L.A. County.

Anderson joined the Royal Danish Ballet as a dancer in corps de ballet five years ago after collecting a slew of awards and recognitions, including the American Ballet Theater’s National Training Scholar for three years and first place in the men’s division Youth America Grand Prix Regionals. He studied at the Anaheim Ballet and later went on to graduate from the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London in 2006.

“He not only took multiple classes a day, he was extremely diligent when he took those classes, and always gave 110 percent and never quit. … His success should be a source of inspiration to anyone,” said Larry Rosenberg, the Anaheim Ballet executive director and Anderson’s former ballet instructor.

It took sacrifice, Anderson recalls. In high school, while his friends went to the movies on weekends or hung out after school, his commitment to ballet kept him in classes and training. “I didn’t mind being busy and working a lot, but I feel like maybe I missed out on those things,” he said. “So, it’s kind of nice to come back and show (my friends and family) what I’ve been busy doing all these years and they’ll have the opportunity to see ballet.”

In the midst of his busy schedule, Anderson managed to attain the highest Boy Scout rank of Eagle Scout.

“Charlie has done an excellent job of making a life for himself and his work ethic has carried him through,” his mother Carol Anderson said.

She remembers attending competitions during her son’s senior year of high school when several adults in the crowd would tell him, “You’re going to be famous someday, Charlie, and we want your autograph now,” she said.

“His dad and I are always amazed that people actually pay to come and see our kid dance – we think that’s pretty funny,” his mother said. “We are so proud of him.”

 

Copyright ©2011 Los Angeles Newspaper group

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