“A few years ago my mom read an article about the Long Beach Ballet Ambassadors to China program and she shared it with me,” said 15-year-old Rancho Penasquitos resident Liana Miller. “We talked about how great it would be if I could do something like that someday.”

For Liana and her mother, their shared dream is becoming a reality – as she was accepted to the unique six-week program to dance in China.

At 6 months old, Liana was adopted by Janice Miller in Guangzhou, China. At the age of 2, she was not walking as well as most children her age, so her mother put her into dance class to help her out. It did help; in fact, it helped so much that she is now a member of the Southern California Ballet Company.

She now has plans to continue dancing the rest of her life, learning everything she can about dance, which is why she is excited about the upcoming trip to China.

Long Beach Ballet Ambassadors to China is a program in operation since 1997. Every year, the Long Beach Ballet Company heads to China to produce a ballet (previous performances included “The Nutcracker,” “Don Quixote,” and “Cinderella”). When they attend, they spend the first week in Guangzhou, and then travel for two weeks visiting various historical cities in China to give performances. “I think this program will help me become a stronger dancer and improve technically,” Liana said. “I plan to work hard.”

When not traveling across the world, or performing in the Southern California Ballet, Liana is a student at Westview High School and very active in her church. She studied ballet at the Black Mountain Dance Centre.

She is both nervous and excited to be traveling to China. “I am lucky to have many role models who support me and encourage me to do my best,” Liana said. “Some of my role models are my mom, my family, and many of my teachers and members of my church.”