Age: Ranges from 7 to 18 years old
Accomplishment: Performing in the Westchester Ballet Company’s professional production of The Nutcracker, alongside accomplished professional dancers.
Key to Awesomeness: These students are dedicated, hardworking, professional, graceful and talented. They have spent the last three months rehearsing every weekend and some weeknights at Ossining’s Logrea Dance Academy, the school of the Westchester Ballet Company, and more recently at the County Center.
"We have a dedicated and talented group of young dancers who work very hard to prepare for our performances," says Beth Fritz-Logrea, co-artistic director. "Their commitment and enthusiasm inspires all of us involved with the production."
Many of the older, more experienced dancers have multiple leading solo roles, requiring additional hours in the studio, but they remain dedicated.
"It's a lot of work, especially with school and our regular dance classes during the week," says Croton-on-Hudson's Julianna Marchant, 14, a high school student at The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry. "But it's so much fun being backstage with your friends and then stepping out on stage together in front of a live audience."
Harry Cooper, of Croton-on-Hudson says: "I love being in the Nutcracker because it introduces me to many fine and interesting dancers.”
The other local students from Cortlandt, Peekskill and Croton-on-Hudson performing are:
Erika Lad (Solo Mouse), Cortlandt
Eliani Gildin (Party Child), Cortlandt
Tatiana Stevenson (Group Mouse), Cortlandt
Fion Ballard (Page), Montrose
Nayelli Picon (Soldier), Peekskill
Julianna Marchant (Flower Solo, Snow Corps, Gigue, Snow Solo Understudy), Croton-on-Hudson
Talah Cummins (Snow Corps, Russian Corps, Flower Corps, Flower Solo Understudy), Croton-on-Hudson
Veronica Herrero (Soldier), Croton-on-Hudson
Eve Holzman (Soldier), Croton-on-Hudson
Emily Ross (Clown), Croton-on-Hudson
Erin Clark (Page), Croton-on-Hudson
Tara Clark (Page), Croton-on-Hudson
Harry Holst Cooper (Party Child, Little Chinese), Croton-on-Hudson
Grendan Gaffney (Cadet, Court Jester), Croton-on-Hudson
Tara Nichols (Angel, Flower Corps Understudy), Croton-on-Hudson
Elyse Samojedny (Snow Corps, Flute Corps, Flower Corps, Chines Demi-Solo Understudy), Croton-on-Hudson
Caitlin Sendlenski (Party Child), Croton-on-Hudson
The Nutcracker is on stage Dec. 17 at 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm; Dec. 18 at 2 pm. All performances are at the Westchester County Center, 198 Central Park Avenue, White Plains. Tickets purchased in advance are $20; $14 children ages 2-10 and seniors. All tickets are $25 the day of the performance. For tickets call 914-995-4050 or visit www.countycenter.biz. You can also purchase tickets at www.ticketmaster.com.
More on The Nutcracker:
For the past 15 years, the Westchester Ballet Company—one of America's oldest community ballet troupes—has been entertaining audiences at the Westchester County Center with its production of The Nutcracker, and this magical holiday treat has become a tradition for families across the county. The production features professional guest soloists in the leading roles and professionally trained student dancers from communities throughout Westchester and neighboring areas. This year, Brazilians Marcella de Paiva Montes and Nayon Rangel Iovino, rising young stars from The Washington Ballet in Washington, D.C., will appear as the Sugarplum Fairy and her Cavalier. Under the direction of Beth Fritz-Logrea and Jean Logrea, the show includes spectacular scenery, beautiful costumes, classic choreography and special stage effects that rival the best productions in the New York metropolitan area—for a fraction of the cost.