In Focus: First City Dance Studio Presents 10th Annual Performance of “The Nutcracker”
The Nutcracker is known as one of the most popular, traditional ballets in the world. But First City Dance Studio in Bemidji adds more than just traditional ballet to the piece.
“The traditional Nutcracker is all ballet, we’re going to expose our audience to tap, lyrical, musical theater, jazz, they’re going to see some fun aspects that we put in like the battle between the nutcracker and the mouse. Hilarious. Our Mother Ginger by far one of the funniest episodes, where Mother Ginger is actually a male, with a beard and blonde hair and he brings in our little dancers which are ages three to five,” said Cathy Marcotte, First City Dance Studio Director/Owner.
Sonja DeSario, who choreographed the show, has been dancing since she was about three years old. As she worked her up way through dance, she found a passion in teaching dance to younger girls who also share the same passion.
“I started dancing when I was about 3 or 4 at a comp school just like this one here in Bemidji and I eventually worked my way up to a ballet school that was pre-professional. I got into a ballet company and it wasn’t really as fulfilling as I wanted, and now here I am choreographing and teaching and it’s such a privilege to be working with these kids. It’s even better, to see their little faces light up when they’re on stage is the best thing to watch,” said DeSario.
The show included ages 3 all the way to 18, and the dancers of the show say that because of The Nutcracker, Christmas is their favorite time of year.
“It’s so fun seeing everyone grow as dancers and seeing my age grow to be really beautiful dancers and seeing the next generation learn from the older dancers,” said Makenna Schmidt, portraying a soldier and a flower.
“I like being an example for the little kids and it’s just really fun to be apart of the show,” said Reese Fering, who portrayed Clara.
“My favorite thing about being a part of The Nutcracker is definitely being able to express myself through dance, spending time with my friends, and it’s a good way to kick off Christmas,” said Allie Beyer, who played a servant, a candy cane, and a flower.
The dance studio has been rehearsing for the show for about 2 months and spent on average 15 to 20 hours per week making sure everyone puts their best foot forward on the day of show, and it’s safe to say that is exactly what they did.
Every year, the show sells out of tickets with just a few remaining to be sold at the door, and this year was no different. The studio also competes in dance competitions. If you would like to donate to support the dance studio, you can do so by visiting their website.