A holiday classic
Steps Dance School to perform The Nutcracker
By RACHAEL GRAY
Ballet enthusiasts and community supporters have the opportunity this weekend to see an international production put on by local southwest Kansans.
Steps Dance School will present "The Nutcracker" Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Clifford Hope Auditorium in Horace J. Good Middle School.
The performances are split into two casts. "A" Cast will perform at 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. "B" cast will perform at 6 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $6 at the door.
The performance is put on by Steps every other year.
"The Nutracker" is about a young girl named Clara who receives a Nutcracker doll for Christmas. The Nutcracker and the other toys come to life in Clara's dream that night and she enters their world.
Sabrina Montez, Steps owner, urges people to get out and see the ballet.
"This is all local. The kids have been working hard since August to put this show together. Come out and enjoy this worldwide tradition with local talent," she said.
Montez originally is from Pueblo, Colo., where she and her sister grew up dancing.
"We would do 'The Nutcracker' every year," she said.
Montez said the production draws audience members from surrounding communities who want to see the ballet.
"It's nice to be able to give this community a tradition that is usually found in bigger communities," she said.
The students performing range in age from 3 to college-age kids.
"We have been recruiting high school students to help with partnering," she said.
Some of the leads in the show have been dancing for seven to eight years, Montez said.
Andrew Galpin, 13, a student at Kenneth Henderson Middle School, has been dancing for four years.
He dances the part of the Nutcracker and enjoys the tapping part of the show.
"I'm a doll of Clara's," he said, referring to the main character of the ballet.
Valerie Wright, 11, a fifth-grader at Lakin Middle School, has been dancing for seven years. She plays the part of the Rose Queen, the queen of all of the flowers.
"I like the ballet part," she said.
Elena Lemke, 11, Garden City, plays Clara. She's been dancing since 2005.
Alexa Hemmert, 16, Garden City High School sophomore, plays the Sugar Plum Fairy.
"It's a really great show. We worked really hard on it. It only comes every two years, so catch it while you can," she said.
Claire Schmidt, 15, GCHS sophomore, has been dancing since second grade. She plays the Sugar Plum Fairy in the "A" performance.
"I like having all these practices and watching how this comes together," she said.
Alberto Rivera, 14, GCHS freshman, plays Drosselmeyer, the toy maker.
He's been dancing since second grade.
"I just like hanging out with friends and watching how it all turns out," he said.
Chloe Hanigan, 12, a sixth-grader at Plymell Elementary School, also plays the Rose Queen.
Being involved in the ballet gives her the opportunity to dance and hang out with friends.
"It's fun to watch it all come together, thinking about how many practices we have had," she said.
Sponsors of the ballet include Berta's Flowers, Tim Hanigan, DDS, MS, SW Pesticide Inc., Garden City Co-op, Weathercraft Roofing, Garden City Gymnastics, Overhead Door Co., Brooke Jantz Photography, It's Magic, Pizza Hut, CAG Dairy, Garden City Co., Paper Graphics, Dr. Kurt Kessler, Empire Calf Ranch, Wasinger Chiropractic, Garden City Optometrist, Baier Family Chiropractic and Golden Plains Credit Union.
Steps Dance School is located at 611 N. Third St.