Riley Perugini makes it look so easy. As Clara, she will leap, pirouette and dance gracefully on stage with her beloved Nutcracker.
Riley will dance the show “on pointe” – for those unfamiliar with ballet, that means the entire weight of her body is balancing on her toes, sometimes just one foot.
“It’s pretty exciting, but it’s a lot of work. It hurts your feet…there is pressure on your knuckles and you get a lot of blisters.”
Riley has dreamed of this role since childhood; she’s already been a mouse, a fairy, a baby Mother Ginger, a Snow Corps, a mirliton, a dew drop and now Clara!
“I really like ballet, so instead of just doing competitions, it’s good to have a whole show doing ballet.”
Riley is 14 years old and a freshman at The John Cooper School. She shares the role of Clara with her best friend and dance partner Payton Carrow. The two have been dancing together for many years and so it seems fitting they are enjoying this special role together.
Riley spends most of her free time dancing in the Nutcracker and as a member of TADA’s elite competitive team. She is a dance captain this year and a great role model to younger dancers at the studio.
When not dancing, she likes spending time in the kitchen with her dad making homemade pizzas…yum! This Christmas, she is excited to visit with her cousins who are travelling in from out of state.
Come and see Riley Perugini make her debut as Clara in the Sunday, 2 pm show at the Nancy Bock auditorium. Merde!
Tickets to the show are still available here!