December 14, 2013

Seniors in their final 'Nutcracker' performances

Submitted by the Dalton Arts Project

— For the 11 area high school seniors dancing in “Nutcracker 2013” this coming weekend is sure to be filled with both the excitement of performances as well as a bit of sorrow as the curtain closes for the finale.

Attending a performance of the Dalton Arts Project’s “Nutcracker” has become a tradition for many families in the region. Like many holiday traditions, it is about spending time with family and friends. Being a part of the cast affords local dancers an opportunity to do both.

From the first rehearsals in September to the final costume fitting, these senior dancers look forward to performing for their families and community and enjoying a bond that develops from countless hours of rehearsing, waiting backstage and performing together.

Dalton High senior Kathryn Harbin, daughter of Suzanne Harbin, said, “I can’t wait for ‘Nutcracker’ performances to begin. It’s exciting to see how much I’ve grown throughout the years both spiritually and technically dancing from a Little Angel all the way to Dewdrop.”

Kathryn will be dancing the roles of Dewdrop, Snowflake, Flower, Spanish and Mouse.

Daughter of Amanda and Tim Hawkins, Dalton High senior Marion Hawkins said, “This year will be special to me because not only am I dancing my favorite part, but it is my Mom’s favorite part as well. That makes it so much better.” She will be dancing the solo of Dewdrop and in the corps of Snow, Spanish and Waltz of the Flowers.

Lauren Hooie, a senior at Dalton High, will be performing in her last “Nutcracker” as Snow Queen and in the Flower, Spanish and Snow corps. “Nutcracker has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, but my favorite moment was when I was on stage dancing Clara and Auburn won the SEC Championship!” She is the daughter of Suzanne and Sherrel Hooie.

Katherine Marcadis, a senior at Dalton High School, is the daughter of Dr. Daniel and Bridget Marcadis. She will be performing the roles of the Chinese Tea soloist, Snow, Spanish, Flower and a Mouse. She says she loves the body glitter worn during Snow and that everyone tells her to smile.

For senior Maddie Mitchell, daughter of David Mitchell, “Every part of ‘Nutcracker’ has always been special to me. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to dance with these other seniors that I love so much! Dance will always be a part of my life.” Maddie is a Chinese Tea soloist and will also dance as a Spanish corps, Snowflake and Flower.

Dalton High senior Kate Orr, the daughter of Mark and Laura Orr, will be performing the Spanish solo as well as dancing as a Party Mom and in the corps of Snow, Spanish and Flowers. Two of her favorite moments in “Nutcracker” were when she was first partnered by a professional dancer as Arabian and when she got to dance the part of mischievous Fritz.

“‘Nutcracker’ is my childhood. I have been a part of it for 13 years and it will always have a special place in my heart,” Orr said.

Chandler Renz, a senior at Dalton High, will be performing in her last “Nutcracker” as Grandma, Chinese Tea, Snow, Flower and Spanish. Chandler’s favorite part of “Nutcracker” is “getting down as Grandma,” a role she has made special for the past four years. She is the daughter of Doug and Patti Renz.

For Christian Heritage senior Kristi Russell, daughter of Randy and Joni Russell, “This year is special because this is our last chance to show how good we really are and how great our teachers have been for us. I have been busy in lots of ways in preparation for this year — from dancing, to teaching, to costuming, so I feel like ‘Nutcracker’ is my baby and my baby is all grown up now and I am a proud parent.” Kristi will be dancing the roles of Spanish Hot Chocolate, the Soldier Doll, Snowflake, Flower, Spanish corps and Mouse.

Susannah Tighe, a senior at Dalton High School, is the daughter of John Tighe and Allyson Coker. She will be performing the roles of Chinese Tea soloist, Columbine, Snow, Spanish, Flower and a Mouse.

She said, “‘Nutcracker’ has a very special place in my heart. I love making memories backstage and I know this year will be full of laughter and quite a few tears since it’s our last one. My favorite memory was dancing the part of Clara my freshman year.”

For senior Ashley Yarbrough, daughter of Chris and Stephanie Yarbrough, “Performing in ‘The Nutcracker’ has always been a dream come true for me. I cannot be more thankful that God has blessed me with the gift of dance.” Ashley is dancing the Snow Queen pas de deux and will also dance Spanish, Snow and Flowers.

Dalton High senior Genesis Zelaya, the daughter of Lilian Zelaya, will be performing as an Arabian soloist and a Flower, Marzipan Shepherdess and Lamb.

“This is it! Our last year to dance with each other. I want to make this year the best one yet. God bless the Dance Theatre of Dalton,” she said.

The Dalton Arts Project’s “Nutcracker 2013” continues this weekend with performances Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Dalton High theater, 1500 Manly St. Tickets are $12 to $16 at 411 N. Park Drive in Dalton. Bring one can of food for the Dalton Salvation Army Food Bank and get $1 off your ticket price.

Call the Dalton Arts Project at (706) 529-ARTS (2787) for more information.