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Winnipeg gymnast to be seen in NBC American Girl movie Saturday

A Winnipeg gymnast’s first step into the film industry is debuting this Saturday.

Sydney Alexander, 12, spent two months working on American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars last summer.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Alexander. “There was a lot of pressure, and we had to do it over and over for the different camera angles, but after a while you get used to the repetition.”

The film stars Jade Pettyjohn as McKenna, who Alexander was paired with to train for weeks prior to the film. The film also starred Ian Ziering, and Winnipeg’s Nia Vardalos as McKenna’s parents.

Alexander, who practices gymnastics 25 hours a week, acted as Pettyjohn’s double for the more difficult gymnastics scenes. Several other girls from Panthers Gymnastics, Springers Gymnastics Club, and Fantastics Gymnastics were also featured as teammates and competitors in the film.

“A lot of my teammates worked really hard on the movie – it was fun to be with everyone,” said Alexander. “All the crew, they were so friendly. I made a lot of new friends.”

Even though she had fun working on the film, Alexander said she doesn’t see herself working on more movies in the future.

American Girl is a popular line of dolls whose characters are featured in books and movies.  American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars will air Saturday at 7 p.m. on NBC.

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