SIOUX CITY -- Shimmery tutu, check. Bejeweled glass slippers, yeah, those are hard to miss. 

"But where is the crown?" Siouxland Civic Dance Association's Shirley Dill asked, seconds before a photo shoot. "Cinderella needs to be seen with her crown."

Elizabeth Albenesius attaches the golden tiara to the top of her head, completing Cinderella's transformation from servant to the belle of the ball.

"Cinderella is the classic rags-to-riches story," the Bishop Heelan Catholic High School senior said. "Who doesn't want to overcome adversity while falling in love with Prince Charming?"

Albenesius will be playing the title role when Siouxland Civic Dance Association presents Ballet Sioux's "Cinderella," at 2 p.m. Saturday at Morningside College's Klinger-Neal Theatre, 1501 Morningside Ave.

A dancer since the age of 3, Albenesius had danced in "Cinderella" many years earlier but not as its star.

"Was I one of the fairies back then?" she asked Dill. "That was a long time ago. I must've been one of the fairies."

Still, Albenesius has always loved the story of Cinderella.

"First of all, the music is beautiful," she said. "Adding dance to it makes it magical."

A musician and singer as well as a dancer, Albenesius said dancing the role of Cinderella requires some unique acting skills.

"You're conveying emotions through movement and facial expressions without saying a word," she said. "You have to make the audience believe you're Cinderella."

However, it takes more than a fairy godmother to transform Cinderella from a poor girl in rags to a princess-in-the-making.

"Elizabeth has to make that costume change in 30 seconds, tops," Dill said. 

"Thank goodness for the people backstage," Albenesius added.

Prior to the Klinger-Neal show, Ballet Sioux will be performing "Cinderella" at two elementary schools.

"Those will be so much fun," Albenesius said. "To a little kid, you're not a performer playing a part. In their eyes, you become Cinderella."

That's the magic of the theater, according to Albenesius, who has unique show business role models.

"When I was in New York, I was able to see 'SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical' and was blown away with (star) Ethan Slater's performance," she said. "I loved it."

Another thing that Albenesius happens to love is "Dirty Dancing."

"The music is wonderful and so is the dancing," she said of the 1987 movie that starred Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. 

Is "Dirty Dancing" a modern retelling of a classic fairy tale? Perhaps, but it can't top "Cinderella" when it comes to adaptability.

"Everybody knows the story of Cinderella," Albenesius said. "Everybody wants to have a happy ending."

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