Nineteen-year-old Alexandra Finley, a Santa Clarita Ballet Academy alumnae, 2015 Hart High School valedictorian, and current Regent Scholar at UC Berkeley’s school of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, traveled to Sydney, Australia, on December 7-9 to complete in the ballet world’s most prestigious competition: the Royal Academy of Dance Genée International Competition, an event limited to the top 100 dancers in their applicant pool. Alexandra has also been selected as one of ten competitors worldwide to receive the Darcey Bussell bursary to cover costs associated with travel to the event.
The significance of Alexandra’s achievements and inclusion in this year’s Genée Competition cannot be understated; the Genée is comparable to the Academy Awards in entertainment and the Olympics in athletics. It is worthwhile to note Alexandra is the second alumnae of Santa Clarita Ballet to attend the Genée in the last two years.
To prepare for this event, Alexandra splits her time between a full course load at Berkeley, in a major known for its rigor, and intensive ballet study. Every other week she flies home from Berkeley to train at Santa Clarita Ballet Academy with Danica Primo. When she is not able to travel between home and school, she trains at Berkeley Ballet Theater.
Alexandra worked with professors at UC Berkeley to reschedule her final exams so she can travel alone to the Genée. This is a unique story about an exceptionally smart, talented, and ambitious girl from a hardworking Los Angeles family. She is an inspirational example of brains-meets-beauty-girl-power in the highly competitive, often misunderstood, ballet world.