From crown to spotlight

Published 8:56 pm Saturday, March 13, 2010

Elainey Bass has put aside her crown and stepped into the spotlight.

Elainey, 8, who was crowned National American Miss Virginia Princess and is a second grader at Northern Shores Elementary School, will be taking the stage next week as a munchkin and lullaby ballerina in “The Wizard of Oz” at the Chrysler Hall next week.

“I’m excited and can’t wait to perform on stage in front of my family,” Elainey said. “It’s more fun performing and singing and dancing in front of a whole bunch of people.”

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Elainey’s debut in theater began two years ago, when she auditioned for “Blue’s Clues.”

“She went and made it in her first try,” said Cassie Bass, her mother. “She took a break last year, but she is back out and doing it again.”

Elainey took a break after the passing of her grandfather, who supported her and walked with her during her Miss Virginia Princess pageant.

“It was weird,” Bass said. “She wanted to be a lullaby ballerina in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and thought maybe another girl who had more experience would have it. It was her favorite thing. Every night she’d talk to her papa and pray about it. Everything she has asked her papa for, she’s gotten.”

Elainey also tried out for “Tom Sawyer” and made it, but decided to pass it up for “The Wizard of Oz.”

“One of my favorite parts is changing into costume,” she said. “My favorite is the lullaby costume.”

For the last month, Elainey has practiced her routine every day.

“Ever since she was a baby she has loved performing,” Bass said. “She doesn’t like the word ‘no.’ She doesn’t say ‘I can’t.’ She’s very determined. The Hurrah Players are having a Rugrats audition, and she’s already told me she wants to do that.”

Elainey’s goals are to someday go to the Juilliard School and perform on Broadway.

“I want to go to Broadway and perform,” she said. “I want to be in ‘The Lion King’ as Simba or [in] ‘Mary Poppins’ as one of the kids.”

“I’m just here to support her,” Bass said. “She’s decided to do this. As a single parent, I just always tell her to believe in herself and have faith in God. Together they can accomplish anything.”