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Meet some of the cast of BalletCNJ's Winter Performance! (Part II)

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

(PART II)

Our students are hard at work preparing for BalletCNJ 's Annual Winter Performance!

Dancers ranging from Young Dancer Division to Daytime Professional Training Program will be showcased in two performances on Saturday, December 7th, 2019 at Villa Victoria Academy Theater in Ewing, NJ. They will be performing in two festive works: Ashton's "Les Patineurs" (The Skaters) and "The Nutcracker".


BalletCNJ would like to give the opportunity for fans to get to know some of their favorite BalletCNJ performers. Please join us in support of these amazing young artists as they pour their heart and talent onto the Winter Performance stage! www.balletcnj.org/performances


Lets Meet More of BalletCNJ's Stars..



Francis Story (Age 12)


(Ballet III and Daytime Professional Training Program)

Home-schooled


How long have you been dancing?

"5 1/2 years"


What role(s) will you be dancing in BalletCNJ's Winter Performance?

"Red Corps in Les Patineurs and Chinese Lead in The Nutcracker"


What excites you most about performing?

"Making a connection with the audience"


Favorite Holiday Season tradition?

"Nutcracker of course! No matter how many performances I've done, I never get tired of it!"


What do you want to be when you grow up?

"A professional ballet dancer"


Favorite professional ballet dancer?

"Steven McRae, principal dancer with the Royal Ballet"


Favorite ballet?

"La Bayadere"


Any words of advice for other aspiring young dancers?

"Don't try to be exactly like another dancer. Develop your own artistry and remember that some artists mature more quickly than others"





Yana Prokoshin (Age 12)


(Ballet III and Pre-Professional Division)

John Witherspoon Middle School


How long have you been dancing?

"4 years"


What role(s) will you be dancing in BalletCNJ's Winter Performance?

"Red Corps in Les Patineurs and a Snowflake, Pink Flower, and Marzipan Side in The Nutcracker"


What excites you most about performing?

"I like how being onstage makes me confident!"


Favorite Holiday Season tradition?

"Watching Christmas movies with friends"


Any pre-performance superstitions/rituals?

"My friend Anya and I have a fun good luck dance we do before going onstage"


Favorite professional ballet dancer?

"Natalia Osipova"


Favorite ballet?

"Giselle"


Any words of advice for other aspiring young dancers?

"Come in with a positive attitude each day!"





Micah Levine (Age 12)


(Ballet IV and Daytime Professional Training Program)

Home-Schooled (American High School)


How long have you been dancing?

"7 years"


What role(s) are you dancing in BalletCNJ's Winter Performance?

"Green Boy and Red Corps in Les Patineurs and Spanish Lead in The Nutcracker"


Favorite Holiday Season tradition?

"Making holiday treats! I like baking!"


Favorite professional ballet dancer?

"Shale Wagman"


Favorite Ballet?

"Paquita"


Favorite food?

"Buffalo Wild Wings!"


Any words of advice for other aspiring young dancers?

"Work extra hard and put in extra effort. You will see good results!"


What are you looking forward to in 2020?

"Participating in the Miami International Ballet Competition and YAGP! I'll be performing my first contemporary pas de deux with my friend Rebecca Zou"






Jessie Wang (Age 13)


(Ballet III/Dancer Division)

Crossroads Middle School


How long have you been dancing?

"5 years"


What role(s) are you dancing in BalletCNJ's Winter Performance?

"Young Skater in Les Patineurs and Lead Chinese and Pink Flower in The Nutcracker"


Favorite Holiday Season tradition?

"Getting money from Chinese New Year!"


What excites you most about performing?

"It's my hard work paying off!"


Do you get nervous before you perform?

"Extremely"


Favorite ballet company?

"American Ballet Theatre"


Favorite ballet?

"The Nutcracker"


Any words of advice for other aspiring young dancers?

"Sometimes it hurts but not as much as it makes you smile!"






Anya Chakraborty (Age 13)


(Ballet III and Pre-Professional Division)

Community Middle School


How long have you been dancing?

"3 years"


What role(s) are you dancing in BalletCNJ's Winter Performance?

"Red Corps in Les Patineurs and a Snowflake, Purple Flower, and Marzipan Side in The Nutcracker"


What excites you most about performing?

"Inspiring the audience and telling a story through ballet"


Favorite Holiday Season tradition?

"Having a big New Year's party with friends and family"


Do you get nervous before performing onstage?

"I get a little nervous, but when I'm dancing I forget about the nerves"


Favorite professional ballet dancer?

"Anna Pavlova"


Any pre-performance superstitions/rituals?

"Hugging everyone and taking one huge breath"


Any words of advice for other aspiring young dancers?

"Just keep trying and work hard. Make sure to have fun and then you'll surprise yourself with how far you've gone!"




Rebecca Zou (Age 13)


(Ballet V and Daytime Professional Training Program)

Home-schooled (Laurel Springs School)


How long have you been dancing?

"5 years total, but 2 1/2 years of ballet"


What role(s) are you dancing in BalletCNJ's Winter Performance?

"Pink Girl in Les Patineurs and a Snowflake, Purple Flower, and Lead Spanish in The Nutcracker"


Favorite Holiday Season tradition?

"Family all coming back together from their different places"


Any pre-performance superstitions/rituals?

"Saying merde to others and if you have had a bad dress rehearsal...it will be a good show!"


Favorite professional ballet dancer?

"Skylar Brandt"


What are you looking forward to in 2020?

"Performing at MIBC and YAGP 2020 and also performing a contemporary pas de deux with Micah Levine"


Any words of advice for other aspiring young dancers?

"Don't cheat to make yourself look better because it will never get better that way."




Livia Childers (Age 13)


(Ballet V and Daytime Professional Training Program)

Home-schooled


How long have you been dancing?

"6 years"


What excites you most about performing?

"I love being onstage, performing for an audience, and expressing to them how I feel!"


Favorite Holiday Season tradition?

"Every year, on Christmas Eve, my mom, sister, and I paint sugar cookies to give to relatives and friends. "


What do you want to be when you grow up?

"I want to be a principal dancer with Miami City Ballet!"


Do you get nervous before you go onstage?

"I do get very nervous when waiting to go onstage, but as soon as I start dancing, my nerves disappear!"


Any pre-performance superstitions/rituals?

"BCNJ has a tradition of wearing pineapple items prior to a performance to ward off any bad luck. Our directors sew red gems in our costumes, near our hearts, to remind us that they are there to support us!"


Favorite professional ballet dancer?

"Gelsey Kirkland. She has beautiful port de bras and upper body. She is my inspiration!"


Any words of advice for other aspiring young dancers?

"Ballet class is not enough. If you want to be a professional dancer you have to find extra time to work on your own"




Nina Rodriguez (Age 14)


(Ballet IV and Professional Division)

Robbinsville High School


How long have you been dancing?

"8 years"


What role(s) will you be dancing in BalletCNJ's Winter Performance?

"Yellow Girl in Les Patineurs and a Snowflake, Purple Flower and Marzipan Lead in The Nutcracker"


What excites you most about performing?

"The adrenaline you get onstage!"


Favorite Holiday Season tradition?

"Getting ready with my mom for my family's annual Christmas party"


Favorite food?

" Movie theater popcorn"


Favorite ballet company?

"Pacific Northwest Ballet"


Any pre-performance superstitions/rituals?

" I do my make-up and hair to the music I will be dancing to and I text my mom before I go onstage"


Any words of advice for other aspiring young dancers?

"Be patient... your time will come!"




Andrew Deppenschmidt (Age 14)


(Ballet IV and Daytime Professional Training Program)

Home-schooled


How long have you been dancing?

"7 years"


What role(s) will you be dancing in the BalletCNJ Winter Performance?

" Red Corps in Les Patineurs and Russian Candy cane in The Nutcracker"


What excites you most about performing?

"Being onstage and making people happy"


Favorite Holiday Season tradition?

"Being with my family and watching Christmas movies"


Favorite professional ballet dancer?

"Jermel Johnson, dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet"


Do you have any hobbies other than ballet?

"Reading, gaming, and hanging out with friends"


Favorite food?

"Tacos!"


Any words of advice for other aspiring young dancers?

"Keep going no matter what and practice makes perfect!"




We wish these Young Artists the best of luck as they take the stage in the BalletCNJ Winter Performance 2019! To purchase tickets visit www.balletcnj.org/performances

Keep up to date with the BalletCNJ Blog to learn more about other Winter Performance 2019 cast members!


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