Kirkland girl wins two dancer of the year titles

Kirkland resident Natalie Peterson has won two all-around dancer of the year titles.  - contributed
Kirkland resident Natalie Peterson has won two all-around dancer of the year titles.
— image credit: contributed

Kirkland resident Natalie Peterson, 16, found her passion when she was 3 years old.

That’s the age Peterson started dancing ballet, jazz and tap at Elizabeth’s Dance Dimensions studio in Bellevue. She began entering dance competitions when she turned seven.

“I love dance because I love being able to to be up on stage, showing people my emotions,” she said. “When I do my solos, I can express who I am.”

Peterson recently was named the 2014 Senior Icon of the Year at Hollywood Connection Nationals in Burbank, Calif. In addition, on July 15, Natalie was named the 2014 National Prodigy for NRG Dance Project.

“The first award was a huge deal to me because it’s been a dream of mine ever since I went to the first nationals and I set my training toward reaching that goal,” Peterson said. “It really came as surprise to me because usually they give the award to someone older than my age.”

The dance studio owner and artistic director Elizabeth Lanning choreographed Person’s winning routine. Peterson said Lanning’s studio has been instrumental in shaping her as a dancer.

“I have met so many great people there and dancing has given me and outlet to focus my energy on and to challenge myself,” she said. “My teachers inspire me and seeing people do big things from our studio inspires me.”

Peterson plans on turning her passion into her career.

“My dream is to attend Chapman University,” she said. “I visited this summer and love the dance program they offer. I want to major in dance and in two years, when I turn 18, I want to audition for the show, ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’”

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