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'American Idol' of Ballet comes to Seattle

Miranda Elder (Family provided photo)

SEATTLE -- If you notice a large number of teens and pre-teens wearing tutus this weekend, it’s not cause for alarm.

The “American Idol” of ballet is in town, and these kids are hoping to hop and spin their way to a big win.

For 12-year-old Miranda Elder, movement has been a part of life ALL her life.

“Since I was 4, I was dancing around the house,” Miranda tells KOMO News. “And that’s why my parents put me in ballet class.”

Do you sometimes get in trouble for dancing too much, Miranda?

“Yeah, sometimes,” she says with a laugh.

Her dad is a proud papa of this pirouetting pre-teen.

“She was ‘Little Clara’ in her school’s ‘Nutcracker’ last month,” Miranda’s dad Delwin recalls. “That was really exciting to watch.”

He, mom Kristen, and Miranda's other fans will be watching this weekend, as the 12-year-old competes in the 20th annual Youth America Grand Prix being held at Seattle's Roosevelt High School. It’s ballet’s “big dance” for kids like Miranda. Winners here at the regional level move on to New York, where the older kids compete for highly-coveted dance school scholarships.

But what is it about ballet for Miranda Elder? She says it's definitely the end result.

“I like the ‘art’ in ballet,” she says. “How you can express yourself, move freely, and I feel it’s a really good way to connect with people. I’ve made so many new friends, and I was able to share my dancing with them and together, we can make something to show to the world and make the world happier.”

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More information on this weekend’s Youth America Grand Prix Seattle Regional:

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