Riley Perugini as Clara ~ this ballerina says the blisters are worth it

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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.”

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

 

Prop team makes magic happen behind the scenes

There is not a single prop in the entire Nutcracker Production that Rachelle Boyd has not touched in some way.

For every hour that our dancers spend in the rehearsal room, Boyd spends in the prop room, sewing, fixing, building, painting or bedazzling.

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Valeria Iturralde and Regina Hammeken (L) and Zoe and Rachelle Boyd (R)

“I am always at the studio. I don’t drop Zoe off and leave, I stay. Having stuff to do while Zoe is rehearsing is a pleasure… I just want to help make this production amazing for our kids,” says Boyd.

With help from her team, including Lynette Alvarado, Rhondelle Louviere and Sam Ballard, she has successfully completed two wardrobe closets, a cannon, a fireplace and mantle, the sleigh, the Land of Sweets candy-themed chair, a giant pincushion and more. Clearly, it’s a labour of love.

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“The biggest prop and most challening for me has to be Mother Ginger. It’s the challenge of actually creating something from absolutely nothing into something amazing (is what) I enjoy,” she adds.

Does she have a favourite? “I can’t pick one favourite because they all have a memory attached to a person and a prop.”

When our Nutcracker dancers take the stage this Sunday, Boyd will finally be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Oh wait…competition season is right around the corner!

We love you Rachelle Boyd and all the work that you have done for our dancers, our production and TADA!!

Come out on Sunday and see TADA’s Nutcracker Ballet at 2 and 7 pm at the Nancy Bock Auditorium. Tickets are still available and can be purchased through Tututix.

 

 

 

 

From mouse to Clara ~ Payton Carrow shines on stage

image This Sunday at 7 pm, Payton Carrow will dance the role of Clara in TADA’s Nutcracker Ballet.

“It is pretty exciting, I’ve always wanted to be Clara since I was a little girl,” says Payton, 14, who started dancing when she was just four years old.

Ten years later, and she can still remember her other roles over the years.

“I was a mouse, a Russian, a Mother Ginger, military doll and Clara’s cousin.”

Payton is a dance captain with TADA’s elite competitive team. She’s also a freshman at the Woodlands High School and a member of the high school’s cheer team. Between dance, cheer and school work, she’s learned discipline and developed a strong work ethic.

“I just push myself harder with school and dance because I know I’m capable of doing my best with both.”

She is sharing the role of Clara with her best friend and duet partner Riley Perugini. She says it’s fun sharing the role, because they help each other with memorization and choreography.

Riley and Payton

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Payton hopes families enjoy the show this weekend and make TADA’s Nutcracker a new family tradition. At her house, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without The Nutcracker and family movie nights featuring Elf and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Come and see Payton this Sunday at 7 pm in the Nutcracker Ballet – tickets are available through Tututix.

Mouse Queen hopes to bring personality to her role

For 17-year old Jordan Sims, it just doesn’t get any better. It’s her senior year, and she will dance not one, but two of her all-time favourite roles in TADA’s Nutcracker Ballet.

“The Nutcracker has been such a big part of my life, and the Mouse Queen has been my dream role. I remember growing up and getting to see the older girls do it, with so much personality!” says Sims.

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Besides battling the soldiers with her army of little mice, she will also grace the stage as the Arabian Princess.

“Arabian has been my other dream role and I never thought I would get to do it…then Miss Amy said ‘You’re the Arabian Princess,’ and I was like ‘Wow!’ ”

When she’s not dancing in The Nutcracker or on TADA’s elite competitive team as a dance captain, you’ll likely find Sims singing alto in three different choirs at The Woodlands High School. She is the alto section leader and recently earned “1st” chair alto 2 in the region! She hopes to attend Rice University next year and study chemical engineering.

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The Nutcracker is a family affair at the Sims household – mom Emma made Jordan’s Mouse Queen costume. She spent about 20 hours hand stitching the lace and trim, and making her crown!

Come and see Jordan as the Mouse Queen and Arabian Princess in TADA’s Nutcracker Ballet this Sunday at 2pm and 7 pm at the Nancy Bock auditorium. Tickets are available here for $15, $20 and $25.

 

 

Nutcracker Soirée was a sparkling success

I think we are all still removing glitter from our hair, after snow magically fell from the sky at the conclusion of our Nutcracker Soirée Friday night. Just look at the sheer joy on the faces of these little ones.

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It felt like a dreamy fairytale as Augusta Pines was transformed into a Land of Sweets.

imageCandy decorated the tables and bon bons adorned the huge Christmas tree which stood proudly at the bottom of a beautiful staircase. It was an intimate affair with about 170 guests in attendance. Little ones (and big ones too!) were in awe of the beautiful decorations, costumes and dancers.

There wasn’t a dull moment as kids were kept busy with a Christmas craft ornament, a hot chocolate station, a sweet dinner and a performance by our Nutcracker principals and cast, as the story was read aloud.

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Their “oohs” and “ahhhs” when the military doll started spinning and the Mouse Queen battled the soldiers was precious!

Thank you to all who attended and participated in the raffle, silent auction and supported our vendors. We are so thrilled you were part of our first annual Nutcracker Soirée.

And a HUGE TADA thank you to our amazing event co-chairs Misty Twellman and Carey Bell – your vision and enthusiasm made this event even better than anyone could have imagined.

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And the decorations were STUNNING. Thank you Amy LeCrone, Tonya Page, Kristi Horton, Laurie Shults, Nicole Murphy and Emma Sims –  the venue was absolutely gorgeous and every little detail mattered.

I know Misty and Carey are already thinking about next year!

Tickets to TADA’s Nutcracker Ballet on Nov. 22nd at 2 pm and 7 pm are available here!

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Meet our Snow Queen

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Meet our Snow Queen Maecey Malone. The 17-year-old is a senior at College Park High School and a dance captain with the TADA Company, our elite competitive dance team.

Maecey has been dancing for 14 years, and, believe it or not, this is her first time participating in The Nutcracker Ballet. Maecey enjoys ballet and is happy to be back in her pointe shoes for her dual roles as the Snow Queen in Act 1 and the Dew Drop Fairy in Act 2.

“It’s exciting, I can’t believe I’m doing Nutcracker!” says Maecey, who wanted to take advantage of her last year as a student at TADA to participate in this memorable ballet.

She enjoys learning ballet choreography, even though she says it is sometimes difficult. She is also looking forward to performing for an audience, rather than a competition judge, for a change.

“It’s been fun learning new stuff and performing on pointe for a real performance.”

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Maecey is currently auditioning at various colleges and will pursue dance for her post-secondary education. Her dream job would take her to LA to be in music videos or on tour with a well-known band or musician.

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Maecey already has a jump start on her performing career; she danced with So You Think You Can Dance star Jarell Rochelle in two professional performances last year.

See Maecey perform in our Nutcracker Soiree this Friday at 6 pm and at the ballet on Sunday, Nov. 22nd at 2 and 7 pm. Tickets are available at Tututix.