Ballerina Dances Her Way Into Colorado Politics

August 26, 2013 | By Kelly Macfarland

Alexa Van Anne isn’t your ordinary 19-year-old.

She’s a competitive ballerina, a committed conservative activist, and dreaming of running for office herself – but first, she’s got to finish college.

Alexa got her start in politics working for the reelection of her congressman, Rep. Mike Coffman, in 2012.

“Working for the Coffman campaign marked my entrance into politics. I sought out the opportunity on my own having been interested in politics my entire life,” Alexa said.

As area campaign director for Mike Coffman for Congress, Alexa coordinated door-to-door canvassing and phone banking. As November neared, Alexa became more involved in working on projects with the field director for her district.

“Every week or so, we would have large groups of college students come in to help make phone calls and canvass, so I took on the responsibility to train them on our systems,” Alexa said.

Alexa also worked to publicize the debate between Congressman Coffman and his opponent, Joe Miklosi – one of the most competitive House races in 2012. She recruited campaign supporters so they made up the majority of the audience – and media coverage.

Alexa’s experience with the Coffman team didn’t end with November elections.

After the election results, she felt inspired by the work her Congressman was doing and decided she wanted to apply for an internship with his fundraising firm, The Starboard Group.

“After having been surrounded and energized by the next generation of conservative leaders on the campaign, I knew with confidence that I had found my métier,” Alexa said.

Through her internship at The Starboard Group, Alexa got involved with other local political opportunities, including Congressman Corey Gardner’s campaign, Colorado Secretary Scott Gessler’s campaign, and local non-profits.

During the legislative session, Alexa interned for State Representative Jerry Sonnenberg; after the session, for Secretary Scott Gessler’s campaign.

Alexa is very much an advocate for her state, and has big dreams that include running for office.

“I would like to run for elected office in my home state of Colorado,” Alexa said. “I hold strong convictions about preserving the values of this country, particularly individual responsibility.”

Growing up, Alexa learned the value that small businesses bring to the community and families. Working for her father’s store—Blade Runner Services—Alexa gained valuable insight that has  made her appreciate the hard work that goes into building and maintaining a business and the people behind them.

“Working at a small business founded by my father provided me the opportunity to know exactly what it takes to run a company,” Alexa said. “Every penny counts, especially in a difficult economy. Looking at pre-2008 numbers is saddening. I can’t help but take note of the crushing regulations that have restricted company development.”

Alongside being a committed activist for liberty, Alexa has spent the last 14 years of her life practicing ballet. During her time performing, Alexa lettered twice and was in a dance company for six years.

After hearing about the Leadership Institute’s Youth Leadership School from a friend who took the political bootcamp, Alexa decided to attend. Her experience was one that she will never forget.

“I had an incredible experience at LI’s Youth Leadership School. I learned exactly what it takes to be a conservative leader, and I was left with the tools to be one,” Alexa said. “The speakers were remarkable, and I was humbled by the opportunity to learn from each of them. Being a part of this two-day training alongside like-minded individuals was a great experience, and I met many promising future leaders. Most impressive, however, was the sheer amount of applicable information.”

After taking the Youth Leadership School at the Leadership Institute in July with 141 others, she said she was “better informed” for her political future. And this fall, she will be joining 10 other conservatives to intern for the Leadership Institute.

“I would recommend the Youth Leadership School to anyone who wants to become involved in politics. Everyone could learn something because the focus is on highlighting the skills of a selfless leader, which is very uncommon,” she said.

Sign up now for one of LI’s Youth Leadership Schools (YLS). The weekend trainings are hosted all over the country, or you may contact Daryl Ann Dunigan (DDunigan@LeadershipInstitute.org or 703-247-2000) to host a YLS training near you.

Please congratulate Alexa Van Anne on receiving the Leadership Institute’s Conservative Leader-In-Training Award and please encourage her to continue advancing conservatism in Colorado.

To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award where they will have an article written about them, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Lauren Day, at Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org.