EdWatch: St. E's senior overcomes partial blindness to dance in internat'l competition

St. Elizabeth's High School ballerina is on the West Coast, doing some of the most importance dancing she'll ever do in her life, and she's prevailed over a disability to get there.

WDEL's Amy Cherry has more in this week's WDEL Delaware EducationWatch.

Ana MacElvray, a senior at St. Elizabeth's High School, has overcome extraordinary odds to represent Delaware in Dance Excellence, an international dance competition in Los Angeles.

She's been dancing since she was four-years-old, but last year had to get a cornea transplant due to a medical mistake.

She hasn't regained vision in her left eye, but that hasn't stopped her from dancing.

"It's just been my passion. I love it, and anything I'd be going through in life, happiness, sad, that's how I communicate," she says.

Regaining balance was an issue, but when I asked about her biggest challenge--she didn't even bring up the blindness in one eye.

"It's a little thing, but biting my lip is a huge challenge. When I'm trying, I bite my lips in dance, and I always get yelled at for it, and I'm trying to break the habit before I go farther," she says.

Her forte is pointe ballet.

"I started early. I started at 10. It depends on how strong your ankles are, I just kept going. I knew I wanted it, and I think that it's at the age 13, you really decide if you want to do this with your life because it's a full commitment," says MacElvray.

She says for some dances she has to dig deep to find the character, but not with ballet.

"I don't really have to find something because I just feel it. That's how I know ballet is what I really want to do," she says.

She'll move on to study dance in college and advises other dance lovers to see her success story.

"It's just a good feeling to know that a profession that's really not as popular as it used to be, especially ballet, you can still make it. You can still get there," she says.

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