Celebrate the holiday with ‘The Nutcracker’

Dance program production to be held tonight and tomorrow

Allison Coyne, Photography & Art Editor

Pirouettes, grande jetes, sashays, and piques. To the dancers at JC, these are the building blocks for their production of ‘The Nutcracker’ tonight and tomorrow.

The Nutcracker is a story of a young girl name Clara who receives a nutcracker as a present on Christmas Eve. When she goes to sleep that night, she experiences adventures through a magical land, meeting some enemies and many new friends along the way.
On December 17 at 7 pm and December 18 at 1 pm and 7 pm, the JC College Preparatory Dance Program will be performing The Nutcracker ballet. Dancers are from all grades from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Tickets cost $12 and can be ordered online.
The show is led by Mrs. Laura Ward-Moran, College Preparatory Dance Program Director. “This is the twenty-third Nutcracker I have choreographed and the seventeenth time I’ve directed the Nutcracker, and I still get just as excited to watch it,” she said.
The Nutcracker will be the first full dance performance since COVID began. “We look forward to keeping this a John Carroll tradition as it has been well received by all the dancers, their families, and the community,” Mrs. Ward-Moran commented.
Senior Chloe Connolly, the Snow Queen, has been excited for the show since they began practicing in September. “I’m looking forward to everyone to come and watch, all my friends and family, and for anyone else who’s coming because we have been working really hard on the show, and basically spending every day on it,” she said.
While the dancers had auditioned during the first week of school, preparation had begun long before that. Planning choreography, ordering costumes, scheduling rehearsals, and many more tasks began as early as last June.
All of these tasks had to be done while working around COVID protocols. Masks have been the biggest adjustment for many of the dancers. “It’s difficult on them at times especially with the intensity of running the dances back-to-back,” said Mrs. Ward-Moran.
Despite the changes due to COVID, the dancers and teachers have persevered and worked even harder to achieve their goal.
Freshman Leah Ruffat, who is dancing as the Dew Drop Fairy, has a special connection to the Nutcracker performance. “Being a part of The Nutcracker is really special to me because even before I started dancing, my mom and I would go see The Nutcracker every single year; it was a tradition we had,” she said.
Sophomore Emily O’Steen also feels The Nutcracker has had an influence on her. Emily is the Sugar Plum Fairy and has been rehearsing since the summer.
She said, “There was a lot of work put into this, and it took a lot of hours and time, but I really see myself improving so it was all definitely worth it.”
Emily’s word of advice to younger dancers is to “keep working towards your goals.”
As for Mrs. Ward-Moran, The Nutcracker has been an opportunity to bond with her students after distance learning the past two years.
She said, “I’ve been so fortunate this year to have the perfect blend of energy, attitudes, and effort from each of them and I love how they have bonded as a group. I am proud of them, and I am grateful to be a part of their John Carroll experience.”