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Senior plays Clara in The Nutcracker All Jazzed Up

Senior+Mila+VanderWall+ties+her+pointe+shoes+to+get+ready+for+the+second+act
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Senior plays Clara in The Nutcracker All Jazzed Up

Senior Mila VanderWall ties her pointe shoes to get ready for the second act

Senior Mila VanderWall ties her pointe shoes to get ready for the second act

Senior Mila VanderWall ties her pointe shoes to get ready for the second act

Senior Mila VanderWall ties her pointe shoes to get ready for the second act

Staff Writer, Malin Peterson

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The Nutcracker ballet is filled with many memorable characters, but the one most girls dream of being is Clara, a young girl who receives a magical toy Nutcracker for Christmas.

This year, Clara was played by a Shores senior Mila VanderWall during the performance of “The Nutcracker All Jazzed Up,” a collaboration between Cassell Gymnastics and Dance and Spotlight Dance. The production was held in the Shores auditorium on Sunday, Dec. 17.

“I got to be Clara through commitment and hard work,” VanderWall said. “The magic of Clara is that she is known everywhere.”

She said she had many, long practices in order to learn numerous dances. She was even able to choreograph some of her dances.  

“My favorite dance was ‘Journey Through the Snow’ because I got to be on pointe,” VanderWall said.

The most difficult part for VanderWall during the performance, she said, was keeping a smile on her face the whole time because there were so many dances where the character of Clara had to sit on stage and watch the action. Despite, this, she said she enjoyed every minute of it anyway.

“It is exciting to be a lead in anything, but the most exciting thing about being Clara was the first time I danced on stage with (senior) Maddy Gleason,” VanderWall said.

Gleason, who was the Nutcracker, was the other lead in the Nutcracker All Jazzed Up.

Gleason and VanderWall were accompanied on stage by fellow classmates: junior Coy Lakatos, junior Carlie Shaw, sophomore Malin Peterson, and freshman Avery Smith.  

“My favorite part about the Nutcracker was that I got to play such a cool role and that all the money from the ticket go to charities in the community,” Gleason said.

For the past seven years, The Nutcracker All Jazzed Up has been used as away to raise money for different charities in the area. One of those charities that receives money is Big Brother, Big Sister.

“We decided to do the Nutcracker All Jazzed Up because it brings in more families to watch,” said Miya Rollenhagen, owner and teacher at Cassell Gymnastics and Dance.

 

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