By Elizabeth Oakes
While students are making their way back to Union after Christmas break, Anna Lewis plans to pack for a semester in Disney World’s college program.
Lewis is a junior majoring in teaching English as a second language.
Working at Disney has been a dream of hers since she can remember and is now coming true just months after her audition during fall break.
More than 150 people arrived at the ballet studio in Charlotte, N.C., for the audition, including former Union student Sarah Love, Lewis said.
Auditions took contestants through dance and acting, making cuts along the way. It began with a simple dance number and ended with fast-paced dancing and acting.
Lewis will find out by Dec. 14 which role she will take on next semester in Orlando.
“I would love to be Ariel. She is my favorite,” Lewis said, referring to the lead character in “The Little Mermaid.” “But who knows, we will see.”
Each person hired by Disney is considered a “cast member” as opposed to ticket salesperson or janitor.
Auditions take place nationwide, and Disney will have seen more than 100,000 people by the end of its tour.
“Everything was happy,” Lewis said. “There was a choreographer there, and he went over everything very basically. They told us to smile and be ourselves.
Going to the audition made me realize that [Disney] is very serious and it is an actual business. This will be a good step in applying for jobs in the future.”
The job will take her 13 hours away from her home near Johnson City.
Lewis said her mother was “really anxious about it at first, but she said if God opens the door that is where I would go. My dad is super excited and says, ‘My little girl is going to be a princess.’”
Disney offers classes for the college program that include business, acting and leadership emphasis.
Although Union does not offer credit for the program, Lewis may take classes to learn more from the company.