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10:09 PM Sun, Nov. 18th

'Triple threat' accepted into prestigious L.A. arts school

Courtesy<br>
Alexa Russo, 14, poses on the steps of Los Angeles County High School for the Arts where she will begin her freshman year Sept. 8.

Courtesy<br> Alexa Russo, 14, poses on the steps of Los Angeles County High School for the Arts where she will begin her freshman year Sept. 8.

KINGMAN - Remember the name Alexa Russo; In a few years, you might see it in lights on Broadway.

The 14-year-old triple threat actress/singer/dancer from Kingman has recently been accepted into the prestigious Los Angeles County High School for the Arts - a school so competitive, less than one-third of those who apply are accepted.

Students undergo a rigorous audition process, which includes two monologues, six hours of ballet, a singing solo and an interview.

The tuition-free public school is on the campus of California State University. Alexa and her mom, Michele, who recently retired from teaching at Kingman High School after 30 years, will live in a condo they recently bought just off campus.

Her dad, Joe, also a retired teacher, will hold down the fort at the family's home here in Kingman.

"I'm a little nervous but mostly excited to take on a new journey," Alexa said.

Michele said her daughter has talked about moving to LA since she first started talking.

After mother and daughter moved their belongings there last weekend, Alexa said she looked out the car window and saw how bright the city lights looked at night.

"I just thought, "How can life be so awesome right now?" Alexa said.

Alexa was a born performer, her mother said. As a toddler, she sang and danced along to her musician dad playing guitar.

She studied dance at various studios for more than a decade and has had a number of starring roles in productions, including "The Nutcracker," "The Wicked Witch of the West" and "Becky Thatcher."

Alexa credits two of her teachers, David Robledo from Kingman Dance Factory and her acting coach Grace Ann Etcheberria-Jacobs, with helping her prepare for her audition at Los Angeles County High School. Etcheberria-Jacobs is the owner of GraceAnn Live Main Street Performing Arts Theatre in Lake Havasu.

At the 8th grade graduation ceremony at Kingman Academy of Learning, Alexa sang the Miley Cyrus song, "The Climb."

Her mom said her daughter's singing brought tears to many in the audience.

"That's where I feel at home, I guess," Alexa said.

"When I look into the audience and see people enjoying it, it pumps me up."