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Local woman plays part in Hanna Montana movie

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By Jesef Williams

FORT LAWN – Be on the lookout for Amy Johnson of Fort Lawn on the silver screen in “Hannah Montana: The Movie.”

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Johnson, a Lancaster native, has a part in the Walt Disney feature, which opens in theaters nationwide April 10. She is one of several line dancers expected to be shown in at least two scenes.

Johnson can’t wait to see the movie, based on the Disney Channel’s popular “Hannah Montana” series.

Johnson plans to go to Manchester Cinemas in Rock Hill.

“To see my name on the screen, that’s going to be great,” Johnson said.

The opportunity to dance in the movie was given by her son, Dondraico Johnson, who was the assistant choreographer for the movie.

Dondraico Johnson has lived in the Los Angeles area since 2001 and has been a backup dancer for major artists, including Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Lionel Richie. He’s helped choreograph dance routines in several films as well.

Dondraico Johnson’s friend, Jamal Sims, was the head choreographer for the Hannah Montana movie. When they were looking to hire dancers, Dondraico Johnson suggested his mother.

He called her up and she drove to Nashville, where a great deal of the film was shot.

Amy Johnson spent three days on the set. She said it was an experience like no other.

The first day was spent fitting wardrobes.

The second day, she and the other dancers worked from 9 a.m. until 1 a.m. the next morning, doing most of the shooting.

The dancers did some reshooting the third day.

Amy Johnson said people may not realize how much goes into dancing or acting in a film.

“It was hard work,” she said.

While on set, Amy Johnson got the chance to mingle with the star of the movie, Miley Cyrus, whose alter ego is music and acting sensation Hannah Montana.

Amy Johnson said she enjoyed interacting with Cyrus.

“She’s down to earth,” Amy Johnson said. “She’s like a regular teenager.”

Cyrus is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, who stars as her father in the movie as he does in the TV series.

Amy Johnson was one of about 20 to line dance with Miley Cyrus in a barn during a few scenes in the movie. They were all dressed in Western wear.

Dondraico Johnson said his mother did a good job in her movie debut. Now he wants to get his father, Donald, in a movie.

“It was interesting because I never thought I’d be in a position to hire my mom to dance in a major feature film,” he said. “We had an amazing time.”

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152