Local Dancer Performs in 'Billy Elliot'
Natalie Edwards is a dancer in the touring company of the popular Broadway musical.
Natalie Edwards of Memorial Heights has landed the role of a lifetime.
Edwards, 11, is a ballet dancer in the touring production of Billy Elliot, a musical about a young boy who discovers a life-changing, surprising talent for ballet. Edwards began dancing at age 3 and has since been studying ballet, tap, pointe, and jazz.
She started her dance education with Jan Taylor and Dawn Meadows at Gold's Gym on Route 1, according to her mother Barb. At age 5 she started with Sally Tierney at Just Dance in Belle View, and has danced with her since. She has also studied at Metropolitan Fine Arts in Kingstowne. She is home-schooled and has performed in The Sound of Music with the Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre. She also performed in A Christmas Carol for the Little Theater of Alexandria.
Patch recently caught up with Edwards between rehearsals to find out what it’s like for this young performer on tour.
Patch: What made you want to start dancing?
Natalie Edwards: “When I was little, I always wanted to dance, so I just started dance and I never wanted to stop.”
How did you get cast in 'Billy Elliot?'
Natalie: I auditioned in an open call in New York City in September and the next year, I got a callback and I got cast.
How do you like being in the show?
Natalie: It’s really fun and different. It’s not like anything I’ve ever done before.
Natalie: Well, every week we're in a new city and it’s just really fun.
What was your favorite city to perform in so far?
Natalie: I don’t know. I like them all.
What does your schedule look like?
Natalie: Once a week we travel and then we have opening night. Each day we have a show and on weekends we have two shows. Normally we have three or four rehearsals a week.
Have you made friends with the other actors and dancers?
Natalie: Yes, all the kids are really nice. We hang out and talk in dressing rooms when we're not on stage and we’re always in the same hotel and that’s a lot of fun.
What are you looking forward to after the show?
Natalie: Right now I just want to have a good time doing this and then I’m going to public school.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Natalie: I don’t really know but I probably want to do something like this, like acting or dance.
What are some of your other hobbies?
Natalie: When I’m not dancing I like to play with my cat, read, and watch movies.
What do you like to do when you’re home?
Natalie: I love to go to the Kennedy Center and see a lot of shows there. There's always something to do.
You can see Edwards perform in Billy Elliot at the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore from Dec. 18 to 30. The star of the show, Ben Cook, is also from the area, from Lorton, and attended Lorton Station Elementary. For more information, visit the touring company website.