Nutcracker Performance Brings Students Together

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Nutcracker Performance Brings Students Together

Harley LeMaster

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We have counted down the days until I and 10 other students got to participate in a total of six shows ofThe Nutcracker, put on by Winchester’s Dancer’s Pointe, and it is magical.

Some of the talent in this production comes from four dancers from GRC – Betsy Billings, Megan Huff, Katherine Kennedy and Elijah McDonald.

In addition to these dancers, we have 9th grader Shelby Summers dancing the lead role of Clara.

“My favorite thing is to see how all the little kids look up to me as a role model and want to be just like me,” says Summers.

This joyous time begins long before the performances; it all starts in September at auditions where nerves and excitement are exploding everywhere. Then we receive our cast list and the long days of practice and sweat begin. However, we are all proud to say that all the blood, blisters, and sweat are all worth it come show time.

Every dancer loves the week of performances, otherwise known as Nutcracker week.

“We are one big family and we help each other out with anything we need,” says dancer Billings, performing as one of our lead Arabians.

There is no truer statement than that. Whether it is on or off stage, we are one big family having the time of our lives doing what we love, and that would have to be my favorite part.

Beyond all the love, there is so much work that goes in to preparing our production, and for some of us, that means constantly dancing on our toes for a solo performance.

Huff, dancing a solo as Spanish, explains the love and dedication to this role. “It’s a very difficult dance that definitely takes a lot of energy, but the dance is also a very bold, sort of sassy dance which is a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s an all-around amazing dance that I’m very excited to perform.”

We are also honored to have a few of GRC’s very own athletes volunteering in this production, including Gabe Williams, Sam Williams, Robert Waller, Will Meade and Hunter Dunn.

For all us dancers, The Nutcracker is very tiring and takes a lot of work and time. As you can imagine, it is very stressful and things happen that some of us can’t help, such as props breaking, costumes ripping, and falling on stage, small mistakes that actually cause us all to have a small freak out.

However, the volunteers give us a small relief from all the stress. They all have fun personalities that help us to smile after we get off stage from a bad run through, usually doing so with compliments and playful teasing.

Gabe Williams has been doing The Nutcracker since his freshman year and has loved it ever since. His first two years, he performed as a party dad and this year, he has tackled the role of Mr. Staulbaum. He is grateful to perform with his two siblings, 7th grader Riley and 9th grader Sam.

Williams says short and sweet, “It’s awesome.”

After this weekend, we restart the countdown for next year’s performance.