Routt County Spotlight: Heidi Anne Meshurel-Jolly

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Age: 35

Occupation: Professional dancer, owner and teacher at Northwest Ballet of Steamboat Springs, director of Oak Street Performing Arts Co.

Place of birth: Massena, N.Y.

Q. When did you move to Routt County and what brought you here?

A. My husband and I moved here in May of 2001 after spending nine-plus years performing at Disney World. After coming to Steamboat for several years to ski and work at Perry-Mansfield, I knew I would, at some point in my life, move here.

Q. What's the biggest risk you've taken recently?

A. Reorganizing and possibly relocating my business while deciding to start a family and producing the Steamboat Dance Theatre 2007 show ... all about the same time while still teaching. Who knows what will happen!

Q. Describe your morning routine.

A. Roll (literally) out of bed to get my joints moving, give one of my cats her medicine, shower and stuff, turn on the news or radio, feed the cats, grab my morning Diet Dr. Pepper, get lunch together for hubby, plan dinner, laundry and general house stuff, check e-mail, call my mom, clean the studio for morning classes, and go grab a coffee when all is finished or at stopping point.

Q. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

A. Never change who you are, it is OK to be an individual. Never give up and if you show your audience how much you love what you are doing, all eyes will turn to you.

Q. What are the first three things you tell new acquaintances about yourself?

A. I worked at Disney World as a dancer and stilt walker for almost 10 years. I have been dancing for over 30 years and ... yes, I am 6 feet tall.

Q. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A. I knew at age 7 I wanted to be a performer. My goal was to be a Rockette, but by high school I was already too tall.

Q. If you could invite any four people to dinner, who would they be and what would you talk about?

A. I am not much of a conversationalist or a politician, but they would be Merriem LaNova, my first real ballet mistress and inspiration, so she could see what I have accomplished; Harrison Ford, just an interesting man with an interesting career; Baryshnikov, another dance conversation - what inspired him and his secret to turns and jumps; and Jesse Cook to discuss his music.

Q. Do you collect anything?

A. Too much! Mickey Mouse, Beauty & the Beast, and the Cheshire Cat memorabilia; Old Hudson Bay, Camp Pendleton blankets; Nutcrackers.

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