Christian upholds performing tradition

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 3, 1999

Heather Christian comes from a long line of performers and is upholding that tradition.

&uot;I’m a performer, period. It’s in the blood,&uot; Christian said with a smile.

Her mother Darlene, now a homemaker, was a professional dancer. One grandfather was a traveling actor. One grandmother was a singer and a great-grandmother was a concert pianist.

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&uot;It seems that two children out of each generation go into performing,&uot; Christian said. She and a cousin have been identified as the performing hopefuls for her generation.

On Jan. 21, 200, the 18-year-old Christian will audition for the world-renowned Juilliard School for Performing Arts in New York City. She also has an audition for the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in January.

Approximately 1,100 students are invited to audition at Juliard and only seven will be accepted from that number, Christian said.

Yet this invitation to audition seems like a natural step in a life pointed toward the arts.

Christian has been cantoring at St. Mary’s Basilica since she was 6 years old.

&uot;I had to stand on a stool until a year ago,&uot; Christian said with a laugh.

She spends her time performing and studying many art forms: dance, voice, music, and writing.

&uot;I fell in love with the arts from the time I could walk and talk. I love so many things, it’s hard to pick one area I love most,&uot; she said.

Two of her favorite pastimes are playing piano and writing poetry.

She shares her poetry with close friends from out of town through e-mail, regular mail and phone calls.

Christian also helps teach dance with the Natchez Junior Cotillion. She dances the Russian dance in Natchez Ballet Academy’s performance of The Nutcracker because she likes the fast-paced style.

But then, Christian admits that just about everything she does is fast-paced – from her action-packed calendar to the Mustang she drives around town.

A regular week includes drill team practice, dance rehearsals, teaching cotillion, choir practice, piano lessons, honor society meetings, drill performance at football games on Friday nights, cantoring Mass on weekends and Nutcracker practice on Sundays.

&uot;There’s always something to accomplish,&uot; she said.

&uot;Accomplishing anything is just electric.&uot;