(l-r) Kaitlyn Worr, Amanda Leeder, Leah Whalen, Andriana Lewis, and Annika Lewis pose for a photo with a nutcracker. The five will be apart of the Nutcracker Ballet at Red Deer College Dec. 13-15. Photo Submitted.

Sylvan Lakers to perform in upcoming “The Nutcracker” ballet

The five dancers will grace the stage during the three day production at Red Deer College Dec. 13-15

Five Sylvan Lake dancers will grace the stage for this year’s production of “The Nutcracker” ballet at Red Deer College.

The five will join dancers from across Central Alberta to make Tchaikovsky’s tale come to life during the three day production this weekend, Dec. 13-15.

Kaitlyn Worr, Amanda Leeder, Leah Whalen, Andriana Lewis and Annika Lewis will represent Sylvan’s Performing Arts and Rhythm Centre (SPARC) during the five show run.

Worr, eight, has joined the production for the first time this year and is excited for the upcoming production.

“I just really loved ballet and then I heard about ‘The Nutcracker’ and how you could get different parts and it just sounded really cool to me,” said Worr, who has been dancing since she was three.

The Nutcracker rookie will dance as Chinese tea, a butterfly and a snow angel.

Worr says her favourite part of the experience so far is being able to watch the other dancers and being able to show them what she has been working on.

Fellow SPARC dancer Whalen, 11, is taking to the “The Nutcracker” stage for the third time this weekend.

“It’s a lot of fun, it’s different than normal dance and ballet,” said Whalen, who will be playing a party girl, German candy cane and Icelandic shepherdess.

“It’s a lot of work and it’s a lot of fun,” continued Whalen, adding the hard work pays off.

Whalen, who has been dancing since the age of three, says when she goes back to the production next year she will have her eyes set on the main role of Clara.

Leeder also has her sights set on Clara in next year’s production, a role she was hoping to capture this year.

The 15-year-old dancer is the understudy for Clara, as well as a snake, part of the Spanish Dance, snow and flowers.

She also has an acting scene in the role of a parent.

This year marks three years of “The Nutcracker” for Leeder who says she loves the production for its atmosphere, the people and the great teachers.

“We all go in the dressing rooms and sleep in between [shows] and eat and have a great potluck,” said Leeder, “it’s a lot of work and it get’s tiring, but I could go on, I could do this like every weekend.”

The three day production consists of two shows on Friday, two on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Leeder says the busy schedule is both stressful and exciting.

“It’s cool to see how all the work we put in all the way from August to now to see it all come along and it does really well every year, so that’s cool to see,” explained Leeder, who began dancing at the age of two.

A highlight of the production for Leeder is seeing all the dancers come together as a family during the months between auditions and the final show.

“Last week we didn’t want to talk about it because it’s sad when it’s all over,” added Leeder. “All we talk about is Nutcracker the next year, but then some girls are graduating and then Sunday becomes a really hard time because we have to say good bye to some of our friends.”

Two of “The Nutcracker” performances are already sold out with the other three shows seeing seat numbers dwindling as well.

Tickets can be purchased for the Friday 7 p.m. show or for the 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows on Dec. 14 through rdc.ab.ca/tickets.

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