Community Spotlight: Dance Studio Celebrates Anniversary Of The Nutcracker In Bemidji
The First City Dance Studio hit the stage this weekend for their annual performance of The Nutcracker, but this year was extra special. The ballet is considered a classic in the world of dance.
“One of my favorite parts about Christmas is The Nutcracker. It just gets me in the spirit,” says Samara, who plays the Flower Queen this year.
“This is actually our 10th anniversary year for the studio, which is amazing! We’ve had so much growth! We have dancers that are little mother gingers that have now progressed to be our principal roles,” says Katrina Marcotte, one of the show’s choreographers.
“My first Nutcracker, I got really nervous, but now since I’ve been in The Nutcracker for a lot of years, I’m not nervous,” says a young dancer named Bella, who plays a party guest this year.
Clara’s dream came to life at the historic Chief Theater in Bemidji this weekend. The show incorporated all different kind of dances from jazz and musical theater to – of course – ballet.
“The Nutcracker is stereotypically just ballet, but we have so many kids who love more than just ballet and we really wanted to incorporate that and make sure everyone loves it and feels the Christmas spirit,” says Marcotte.
Dancer Ridge, who stars as the Nutcracker, says, “I really like the battle scene. It’s where I fight the mouse king and that’s really fun. It’s probably my favorite part.”
This weekend’s performance of The Nutcracker featured a little over 100 dancers and more than a few costume changes. The dancers have been working since late October to pull this off.
Marcotte says, “I think five choreographers work with this and really, they each get a certain scene and then really choreograph to the music and the certain aspects that this group would have.”
For the performers, the best part is seeing their hard work pay off.
“It’s really exciting and it’s a lot of work, so when you’re on stage you’re not nervous and you don’t freeze,” says dancer Maya, who plays a soldier.
Cali, the dancer who stars as Clara this year says, “We have to really really practice a lot to be in this part and we have to not be nervous and be really excited and basically just be acting.”
“Waiting backstage and getting all the excitement and you’re wearing a crown and you have this beautiful dress on and you’re just excited to go out and show what you can do,” says Meirah, who plays the Sugar Plum Fairy.
At the end of the day, not a bun was out of place and the dancers walk away with something special.
“The kids! They enjoy it so much! And it is opening another door. Just smiling on stage, I think it gives them growth so just seeing the fun they have the success they get out of it, really as a choreographer is what we want to see,” says Marcotte.
The studio will start back up in January. If your interesting in joining, you can check out their website here.