Audrey Brown will be home from Seattle for Easter, and she's bringing a professional ballet company with her.
Brown, 24, grew up in Cornelius and performs with Seattle-based Paradosi, the Pacific Northwest's first Christian ballet company.
Thanks to Brown and her Lake Norman roots, Paradosi will perform for free April 3 at the Charles Mack Citizen Center.
Paradosi dancers will also conduct choreography and ballet, jazz and modern dance workshops that day for ages 5 through adult at Kingdom's Feet, a dance ministry at 19615 Liverpool Parkway in Cornelius.
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On Easter Sunday, the nonprofit ballet company will dance at River's Edge Church, 412 Armour St. in Davidson.
Brown grew up in a home on North Main Street in Cornelius.
She was 10 when her family moved here from Raleigh after her dad, Tim Brown, became the Cornelius planning director. He is now planning director for Mooresville, where the family now lives.
Audrey Brown was home-schooled. She fondly recalls how her mom, Cyndy Brown, used ballet as an incentive for her to complete math work.
"'If you don't finish that lesson, Audrey, you're not going to class or rehearsal today!' " Brown said via email last week. "It sure worked! I never missed a class!"
Brown trained under Terilynne Knox at Dance Davidson and taught ballet there in high school. She also taught and danced with Kingdom's Feet and traveled to Nicaragua on several mission trips.
"It was from this that I knew God had given me this ability for a reason - to use dance as a form of worship and as an outreach tool to share with others the love and grace of my Savior, Jesus Christ," she said.
Her sister, Olivia, 19, shares her love of ballet, she said. Audrey recalls how their brother Ethan, 15, was dragged to every one of their performances. "But he never complained," she said. "At least that I know of!"
After high school, Audrey moved to Jackson, Miss., to train with Ballet Magnificat. She has been Paradosi since 2007. She's also the assistant director for Surrendered School of the Arts, which the ballet company opened in January 2009.
She returns home for Christmas and a month in summer each year and is happy for the extra chance to see family and friends. "They can see what in the world I moved to Seattle for, and why I love what it is that I do," she said.