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Vodehnal, passed away Thursday, November 24th 2011, she was 73.
She began her ballet career at the age of seven when she started ballet lessons with "Kotchy". At the age of 17 she went to New York to study dance. She danced with the Ballet Russe in New York, The National Ballet of Washington, DC, The Rhode Island ballet, and the Puerto Rico ballet before coming back to Houston. Andrea spent the last ten years of her career as the principal dancer with the Houston Ballet. She retired from the Houston Ballet in the 80's and began teaching. Andrea was not just a ballerina, she was the ballerina. She had the perfect blend of technique and drama on the stage. She didn't just portray the characters in the roles she was cast. She was the character, whether it was Odette in "Swan Lake" or Giselle in "Giselle" or the wife in "Eaters of Darkness". Even the great Balanchine choreographed a ballet specifically for her. Those of you who were lucky enough to see her dance know how great she was. She was just as dedicated to her students in her later years. Andrea helped not just young dancers but also gymnasts and skaters.
She developed an aortic aneurysm six years ago and underwent surgery to correct the problem. In the last few months it was discovered that the lower aorta was dilating to a dangerous level and she was scheduled to undergo surgery on Dec. 7th. Sadly the aneurysm didn't wait, it ruptured and took away one the most wonderful humans to walk and dance on this earth.
She is preceded in death by her father, Jerry; her mother Carrie and her older brother Gary. She is survived by her younger brother, Jaroslav; her nieces Wendy, Sonja, Charisse and their families; her nephew Ron and his family; her cousins Sonja and Delores and their families; and her two dogs Skye and Spock. Andrea didn't like funerals so there will not be one.
There will be, however, a memorial service for Andrea with the time, date and place to be announced later. The stage was never emptier than it is now.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Nov. 27, 2011