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Stafford dancer leaps at Tokyo Disney offer
Stafford woman, who's studied dance since she was 3, will spend 15 months singing and dancing at Tokyo Disney Resort

 Beale found her calling at the tender age of about 3.
JONATHAN McC. BARTELDT
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Date published: 1/23/2013

By CATHY DYSON

After 10 months of performing on a cruise ship, Katie Beale was looking forward to working on solid ground.

And she will be.

The only problem is that it's almost 7,000 miles from her Stafford County home.

The 22-year-old will spend 15 months in Japan, singing and dancing at the Tokyo Disney Resort. Starting in March, for five days a week, five times a day, she'll play the parts of Snow White, Cinderella or the evil queen--or all of the above.

Like other cast members of the variety show that depicts the evolution of Walt Disney's dream, she's not sure which character she'll play when.

But she'll be ready.

"There will be quick changes in between numbers, just, as of right now, we don't know exactly which numbers we will be in and when they are within the show," she said in an email.

SEALED WITH A TIARA

Beale started taking dance lessons when she was 3. Soon thereafter came her first performance memory, a ballet routine in which she wore a pink sequined tiara.

The accessory sealed the deal. From that moment, it was clear her focus would be on dancing.

"I mean, there are no other sports that you can get away with wearing a sequined tiara," she said.

'ENTERTAINER AT HEART'

Beale studied tap, lyrical dance and jazz from her toddler years to her late teens. She worked with a singing coach. She was 9 when she competed in a Paula Abdul Company Dance competition and earned a silver medal--and a big hug--from the well-known dancer and composer.

She later took her talents to Riverside Center Dinner Theater in Stafford, where she performed in children's shows before she took the main stage.

Beale graduated from Mountain View High School in 2008. Then she earned degrees in dance and theater--and a minor in business management--from Old Dominion University in three years instead of the usual four.

The fall after graduation, she started her 10-month gig with Holland America cruise line, dancing and singing as she floated around the Caribbean.

Sharing a room "the size of a closet" with another cast member wasn't so great, but she savored the moments in the spotlight.


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