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With sore hips and twisted ankles, Erin and Lauren Burr truly know what it means to excel in whatever they do. These two dancers take classes for ballet, modern, contemporary ballet and jazz for about 10- 12 hours a week with Dance Arts Los Alamos.
The daughters of Lynn Finnegan and Tom Burr of Los Alamos, the duo admits that their dance schedule is difficult, but combined with the years that both have been dancing, the hobby has become a serious passion.
Lauren Burr, 15, has been dancing since she was five, but said her love of dance really began in 5th grade.
“...I had an amazing teacher who helped me actually want to do my best. She motivated me,” Lauren said.
Erin, 17, has been dancing since she was three years old.
The two prodigies say that they keep each other going.
“Having a sister who dances and has an appreciation for the skill is a huge help,” Erin said. “We build each other up and definitely give constructive criticism ... Since we both love to dance, we encourage each other.”
Lauren said that having the support of loving parents and siblings makes all the difference.
“Our parents are really supportive of our love of dance,” she said. “They encourage us in more ways than possible.”
This year Lauren was one of few participants from Los Alamos to attend the 2011 Youth American Grand Prix in Denver, Colo. This competition/workshop included a judged portion and a class taught by the judges. She danced in the senior division to the “Cupid” variation from “Don Quixote.” Afterward, she said, “The experience was great. There was a lot of personal attention during the after- competition workshop.”
In addition to dance, the two sisters enjoy going to youth group.
“With so much time consumed by dance, we don’t have much time for anything but schoolwork and youth group, but we love dance so much that we don’t mind,” Erin said.
Younger sister Lauren said she finds it difficult to keep up with homework, but then she sees Erin’s homework load and “I decide to stay grateful and cope.”
Though the Burrs are not sure what they want to do in the future, they said that making a career out of dance is definitely an option.
-MARIA JALEH MCTEIGUE