DANCER GARRETT Anderson has made it to the big time. After training as a child with the Contra Costa Ballet, Anderson is now a soloist with the San Francisco Ballet. This month, he will perform at Contra Costa Ballet’s anniversary gala, celebrating 20 years of leadership by codirectors Richard Cammack and Zola Dishong.
“We commuted three hours daily from Modesto until my parents moved to Walnut Creek in 1998,” says Anderson, 26. “The school’s great reputation under Cammack and Dishong was the draw.”
Anderson trained three to six days per week at Contra Costa Ballet, from elementary school until his sophomore year at Las Lomas, when he entered the San Francisco Ballet School. After an apprenticeship with the Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle, he landed his dream gig with the San Francisco Ballet in 2001.
“There was never a question that I wouldn’t dance—finding a spot in a professional company was the challenge,” Anderson says. “My wife [Courtney Wright, also with the San Francisco Ballet] and I still can’t believe we’re actually doing it.”
Contra Costa Ballet’s star alum has stayed connected to the school since moving on. “My mom still takes classes there, and sometimes I join her,” he says.
Garrett Anderson performs at Contra Costa Ballet’s anniversary gala on May 11, 7:30 p.m., at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Tickets cost $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and students, (925) 943-7469, www.contracostaballet.org .