Performing in The Nutcracker is a big part of the holiday season for Hope Bower. The 16-year-old has been dancing since age three and has been part of the Cobequid Dance Academy’s performance of The Nutcracker since 2014.
“My favourite part is getting to perform and I love being here every day,” she said, of her time at the dance studio. “It’s always fun getting ready for The Nutcracker.”
Hope has a few roles in the ballet this year, including the Rat King.
She takes 15 dance classes a week, studying ballet, jazz, modern dance, hip hop, and tap. She hopes to continue training and pursue dance as a career.
“Jazz is my favourite,” she said. “I love how upbeat it is and I feel I perform best when I do jazz.”
She also learns by watching other dancers, and lists Yasmine Naghi, of the Royal Ballet, as her favourite.
Jordan Burns got involved in The Nutcracker four years ago, although he’s only been attending dance classes for about a year. He does free running and parkour, and was able to perform some acrobatic tricks with the Russian dancers. This year, he’s dancing the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy’s cavalier and the Snow King.
“Last year there was a warmup before the performance and I went and really liked it,” he said. “When I first started with dance I was self-conscious but I’m comfortable now.”
Cailean Clements has been part of the show for six years and is dancing the role of the Prince this season.
“My passion is for musical theatre and a big part of that is dance,” he said. “I’m at the studio five days a week.
“A big reason I love performing is because of the reactions from the crowd. I like to see smiles. Making someone’s day or night is really enjoyable.”
The Nutcracker will include special musical performances by Creative Voices.
The show will be staged in the Cobequid Educational Centre auditorium Nov. 30 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Dec. 1 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door and are available at www.cobequiddance.com or in person at Cobequid Dance Academy, 15 Arlington Place.