FARMINGTON — As a young girl, Alicia Meador had the same dream most little girls do: to become a ballerina. And while this dream may fade as some grow older, for Meador, she's living her dream.

"Dance has always been a part of my life," Meador said during an interview in Farmington on Monday.

The 15-year-old Aztec native has spent the first half of the summer in San Francisco studying with the acclaimed State Street Ballet.


State Street Ballet's Summer Intensive is for serious ballet students age 1221, according to the company's website. Classes include ballet technique, pointe, partnering, modern jazz, character and strength-building classes. Students are provided with the opportunity to learn and perform choreography ranging from classical to contemporary. The artistry of dance is expressed through choreography, and with a strong emphasis placed on value.

"The level I was in was composed of mostly college students and company members, so I got to meet a lot of people who were majoring in dance who had background in dance," she said. "It was nice to spend time with others who shared the same passion as I have."

After a short visit here in San Juan County, the dancer will travel to New York City to train with The Rockettes.

Meador spent time rehearsing the audition requirements before submitting a taped rehearsal to the program. With the help of Jim Gurney of Far West Video, Meador was successful in capturing what was necessary in order to be accepted and was excited to find out that she would be traveling to New York.

"Being such a tall dancer, I think gave me an advantage. The Rockettes are always looking for tall dancers," Meador said. "Mrs. Judy gave me the audition information and from there, we practiced and made a tape.

"I have watched The Rockettes on the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade like most girls probably did as a kid. I never thought I'd be dancing with them."

Meador started dancing at Mann Dance Academy at age 4, more than 11 years ago, in the "babies" program with a combo class of ballet and tap.

"She had a cute smile, lots of hair curls, fluff of tutus, and the joy of dance," Dance Academy owners Becky and Judy Mann said.

She continued to dance, advancing class levels as she grew. By age 8, Meador was taking individual classes and ready to begin auditioning for lead roles in recitals and performances, which are held each season.

"Alicia learned how to audition at a young age by always participating in these opportunities," the Manns said. "Joy and love of dance progressed to dedication and involvement at a natural pace for her."

Meador takes ballet technique, pointe, modern, jazz, tap and lyrical and takes private lessons from several instructor. She also performs in Mann Dance Academy's three major productions per year: Nutcracker, An Evening of Dance, and the Spring concert in June.

"We've enjoyed watching and coaching her in roles from Ariel's sister in The Little Mermaid' and Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast' to the star roles of Rapunzel in Tangled' and the Sugar Plumb Fairy in Nutcracker.'

While in New York, Meador will rehearse daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with group education seminars in the evenings. The distinctive style of dance being taught transcends a multitude of disciplines including jazz, tap, musical theater, lyrical and the legendary Rockettes kick line. The curriculum focuses on original choreography and formations from the Rockette repertoire that will culminate in a student showcase, according to the program's website.

"I want to bring back what I learn from my time with in New York training at The Rockettes' studio and share the new teaching styles that I might learn with others here at the studio," Meador said.

Upon returning from New York after the weeklong intensive, Meador will return to Aztec High School for her junior year. The dancer talked of entering the medical field one day and maybe even working with the Doctors Without Borders program.

"I could turn professional," she questioned. "But I don't know. I haven't completely decided against it and if someone presented me with an opportunity, I probably won't be quick to turn it down. We'll just have to see."

Until she decides, Meador will continue rehearsing and teaching preschoolers how to dance at Mann Dance Academy.

"When a student sticks with us like Alicia has we have the unmeasured joy of watching them grow into amazing young women and beautiful dancers," the Manns said. "Alicia is a leader and inspiration at our Academy. We enjoy the brightness of her performance, the joy her leadership instills in other dancers at our school, her loyalty, and the family friendship."