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Tracy Frank, Published December 11 2012

Poised under pressure: Local attorney to be featured in ‘Nutcracker’

If you go

What: “The Classic Nutcracker” presented by FM Ballet

Where: Reineke Fine Arts Center at North Dakota State University

When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday

Contact: (701) 234-9440

Tickets: $20 adults, $10 students

Online: fmballet.org or buy tickets at: http://tickets.ndsu.nodak.edu/eventperformances.asp?evt=48

FARGO – Law and dance might seem like an unlikely combination, but Mara Brust, of Fargo, says they’re actually very compatible.

Brust is a soloist in “The Classic Nutcracker” presented by FM Ballet this Friday and Saturday at North Dakota State University’s Reineke Fine Arts Center. She’s also an attorney with Conmy Feste Ltd. law firm in Fargo.

“Both ballet and law are about finding creative, fresh approaches within a very structured set of rules,” she said. “Ballet has also really prepared me to remain poised and focused under pressure and while in the spotlight, which has certainly benefited me in the courtroom.”

Brust, 22, who grew up in Fargo, became a licensed attorney at age 21 and practices personal injury, family law and general litigation.

She started taking dance lessons at age 3 and has studied ballet, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical, character, and hip-hop.

“I liked dancing around and my parents enrolled me in classes,” Brust said. “It’s something I’ve loved since.”

For Brust, dance is a great creative release that keeps her balanced, she said.

She practices as much as 16 hours a week as showtime nears, she said.

“It’s thrilling,” she said of performing. “You have all these months of preparation and it all leads up to a few moments on stage.”

Brust has performed in a jazz variation of “The Nutcracker” and has danced “The Nutcracker” with the Moscow Ballet when it performed in Fargo.

“It’s the perfect community event, both for exposing to people to ballet and getting them into the holiday spirit,” Brust said.

She plans to continue dancing as long as she can keep it going, she said.

Brust graduated from Fargo North High School at age 15 and graduated summa cum laude from NDSU with a B.A. in journalism, broadcasting and mass communication technologies at age 17.

She took a lot of AP classes while in high school, skipped seventh and eighth grades and finished high school in three years, Brust said.

She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Brust also spent a semester interning for Sen. Byron Dorgan in Washington, D.C., and is a leader of the Fargo chapter of New Generation North Dakota, a group of young Democratic-NPL leaders.