Anna Paddock, a 2016 graduate of the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau and a sophomore at the University of Louisiana civil engineering student, has been a dancer with Lafayette Ballet Theater since she was 11 years old. Always efficient with her time, the 19-year-old studies her Calculus notes before ballet class and relaxes her muscles afterwards with ice foot baths and a massage roller. All the hard work is worth it for Anna though, who believes the most worthwhile things in life take the most dedication.
A believer in the adage, "Work hard. Play hard,” Anna can be found dancing to anything by the Beatles or jamming with her dance mates to songs like "No Scrubs” and other hits from the early 2000s in the dressing room before a big performance. Those pre-show times are some of her favorite memories.
"The Nutcracker has definitely become the most enjoyable performance for me with Lafayette Ballet Theatre,” said Anna. "It never gets easier to dance, but I grow more comfortable with it each season. I have become more able to appreciate performing with my friends, to really listen to the beautiful music, and to truly feel those special moments on stage.”
In the rare moments when she’s not dancing or studying, Anna enjoys watching old movies and, for a few brief moments, ignoring all her school assignments. She also loves (and is extremely frightened of) her cat. Beyond her ballet prowess, her no. 1 party trick is her ability to recite all of the Presidents of the United States at the drop of a hat.
Anyone who knows Anna knows that she has always been a diligent, accomplished and poised young lady. She says that if she could speak to her younger self, she would say, "Focus only on improving yourself — not on how you compare to others.”