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Gwinnett teen will dance in final show

Cassie Trenary will dance the lead role in her final company show with the Southern Ballet Theater this weekend.

The 15-year-old and her family will be moving from Lawrenceville to New York this summer so she can attend the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis school of dance at the American Ballet Theatre for her junior and senior years of high school.

But before she gets there, Trenary will dive into the role of the Little Mermaid in Southern Ballet Theater's presentation of the underwater and on-land adventure of a young mermaid who falls in love with a human prince.

"I am so excited," Trenary said of her role. "I'm just really honored to have a big, important role at a younger age."

The Brookwood High School sophomore started dancing at age 3 and has been chosen as an American Ballet Theatre National Scholar for three consecutive years. She has been dancing with the Southern Ballet Theatre for four years.

"It's just very good timing that (Cassie) has developed enough to do a lead role before she leaves our regional dance company," said Amy Orr, co-artistic director for the Southern Ballet Theatre who choreographed the ballet. "I think she brings a very nice, youthful quality, and that's what you want. The Hans Christian Andersen story stalks about the Little Mermaid coming of age ... about 15 or 16. (Cassie) is very real and very believable."

Trenary will perform her final company show with SBT at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

"Many little girls dream of becoming a professional dancer," said Lisa Egan, a parent volunteer with the Southern Ballet Theatre. "It seems like this little girl's dream will come true. We will likely be able to follow Cassie's budding dance career for many years to come."

SideBar: If you go

· What: "The Little Mermaid," presented by the Southern Ballet Theatre

· When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday

· Where: Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth

· Cost: $10 to $15