Rhythm On Main dancers of every age were on point over the weekend for their second annual performance of “The Nutcracker,” a dream come true, according to owner Will Shover.
Cade Wright was present to watch her 4-year-old granddaughter in her first ballet. “I’m loving it,” exclaimed Wright, “we’re excited.”
Wright was enthusiastic about the dancers. Before moving to the area, Wright said she “used to go to symphonies and the ballet. Clara is really good.”
Aubrey Dobson, who danced the part of Clara, and the other dancers were not the only ones who worked hard to prepare for the performance. The care put into the choreography by the instructors was evident with movements that seemed specifically tailored to the abilities of the dancers. The graceful but simple movements of the youngest Seraphim Sweets and Marzipan Children complemented the more difficult to execute pirouettes of the Dolls performed by Annmarie Bedsaul, Sarah Billings and Abbi Jackson.
Serving as the Nutcracker Prince was guest artist Parker Howard, a high school senior from Lynchburg, Virginia. Howard has been a competitive dancer in the Lynchburg area and in recent years has won several accolades including being named as a member of the dance team out of Augusta called Dance 2 Inspire. After graduation, Howard plans to move to Los Angeles where he can further pursue his career and perhaps get to play the Nutcracker Prince on a professional stage.
“I remember watching (The Nutcracker) on PBS when I was young,” said Ashleigh Diiorio, who was so excited to see her 4-year-old daughter perform for the first time that she was in tears. “It’s such a classic,” explained Diiorio, “it’s a good introduction to the kids.”
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.