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By Ashlee Kieler
The Urbandale Patch
December 5, 2012

Adrian Oldenburger, 14, 2011 Credit LeAnn OldenburgerDes Moines, Iowa. USA – [Step aside] Shawn Johnson, Gabby Douglas, and Lolo Jones. Adrian Oldenburger could be the next Iowan to add his name to a long list of local world champion athletes. Adrian, 15, began dancing at the age of four and now spends nearly 30 hours a week perfecting his dance at Urbandale’s Capital City Dance Center.

And that work is paying off. Adrian was recently invited to attend the 41st Annual Prix De Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland, early next year.

The international competition is often referred to as “the Olympics of the dance world.”

“It’s looked at as something amazing,” said Adrian, who’s from Altoona. “People just don’t go.” And he’s right, many dancers don’t make the cut. The showcase only selected 84 dancers from around the world – 10 from the United States.

“I really didn’t think I was going to go,” Adrian recalled of the application process. “When I shot the video I had a broken back. I sent it in and two days later I was still looking at it – it’s not good enough.”

When the letter came in November, it was a shock.

“The acceptance letter started out ‘Thank you for applying’, then farther down it said I was selected,” he said. “It took a couple days to process.”

Adrian is no stranger to honors in ballet. In 2011, he received a scholarship to study at the School of American Ballet in New York for the summer. Last summer, he was chosen to attend the Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson’s Academy.

Adrian Oldenburger 2012Adrian’s goal for the showcase is to impress teachers from the Royal Ballet in London. “It’s not all about the competition and winning,” he said. “It’s about getting to go and be seen – about the next crop of ballet stars, to get into a school.”

Adrian will have to perform a contemporary and a ballet piece for the showcase. But he’ll also have to get used to a new stage with the help of other trained dancers. “They use a raked stage – it’s sloped,” he said. “I hope to adjust to it.”

The great honor to perform at Prix De Lausanne comes with a price. Adrian, his family and friends are trying to raise enough money to send Adrian’s father, Greg, and teacher Emery Uyehara on the trip.

“I do need help. I’ll do whatever I can to get there,” he said of mowing lawns, shoveling snow and other tasks to raise the money. A fundraiser is also being held at Capital City Dance Center on Dec. 15 [open to CCDC students and friends]

One local business, Discover Chiropractic, has also donated to the cause. You can donate by visiting Adrian’s website.

“I’m really excited,” Adrian said of the opportunity. “I’m kind of nervous about getting all the pieces ready.”

While Adrian is looking forward to Switzerland, he’s also preparing for his role as the prince in this weekend’s “Nutcracker” production at Stephens Auditorium in Ames.

Copyright © 2012 Patch

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