Freshman Domenica Troina was in third grade the first time she was an angel in the Nutcracker and six years later she’s the lead angel. Troina would have never imagined having the opportunity and said with the higher role as the lead angel comes greater responsibilities.
“As you get older you have to get stronger on point,” said Troina. “I never thought I’d be the lead role, it’s really cool to think that one year you can go from being in a group dance to working hard to have a solo.”
Senior Bella Roberts has been a part of the Nutcracker for nine years and said her competitive drive has landed her some big roles in the Nutcracker.
“Some of my accomplishments have been me getting some of the biggest roles, such as Clara the main character. But also the more technical pieces such as Snow Queen and this year the biggest one is Sugar Plum,” said Roberts.
Roberts said there’s a lot of preparation, time and work that come with being in the show. Numerous amount of hours are spent each day two weeks prior to the show as well as individual conditioning needed to maintain a good amount of stamina.
“Each of us dance six hours after school two weeks leading up to performance day. We try to maintain the stamina needed. The week leading up to the show I try to make sure I’m doing extra stuff like running after rehearsals and cross training.”
Senior Carter Thomas got asked to play the role of a dad by Amanda Dale. It’s Thomas’s first year being a part of the show he said that it’s nothing like the sports he has done before, such as basketball and football.
“It’s a lot different from the sports I’ve been playing like football and basketball, football and basketball you just play and if you make a mistake you can make it up but with dance it’s different because you have to be at an exact location on the stage at an exact time or it’ll mess up your whole performance,” said Thomas.
D Jay O’Brien whose daughter Kelsey is in the Nutcracker said the preparation needed to be a part of the Nutcracker is a big load for kids. O’Brien thinks that juggling school, dance, and any other activities that kids have during this time is a big to take on by kids.
“It’s a big undertake” said O’Brien. “[The Nutcracker] it’s similar to march madness, or any of the other big events for athletes such as Regions. Are kids really able to juggle all the things that they have in that crucible week?”
Dominick Pader has two daughters in the Nutcracker this year, Pader jokingly stated that he has been their “personal unpaid uber driver” throughout their years of being involved in the show.
Largim Zhuta participated in the Nutcracker his senior year of high school which was two years ago (2019). Zhuta was reaching the end of his high school days and said he wanted to take a chance and venture outside of his comfort zone since.
“An opportunity arose where I could take a risk and venture outside my comfort zone and doing ballet. I simply saw that I had never done anything outside my comfort, and when the opportunity arose for me to satisfy that desire I rationally took it. It was more of a “What have I got to lose?” process.”
Zhuta said that what the performers did was no joke and that the crucial amount of hours they spent perfecting their performance during “Hell Week” was a lot. Zhuta had never done this type of dancing before so he struggled he even explained how he had trouble with simple tasks such as warm ups.
“The skill the ballerinas had was quite impressive. I remember doing a warm up routine with the some of the younger dancers and ballerinas, and I remember struggling with it,” said Zhuta. “I do remember dress rehearsals during “Hell Week” being very long. We started right after school and went on till around 7. So actually if you do the math right there. We spent 4 hours a day at the school that week for 4 days. Then we performed two shows, one on friday and one on saturday. So if you add that all up you get a lot
The doors open for the Nutcracker tonight at 7 p.m. the show will start at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday doors open at 1:30 p.m. and the show will start at 2 p.m.