Portage Central students partake in a special performance of “the Nutcracker” ballet this weekend

The Ballet Arts Ensemble in the previous performance of “the Nutcracker” during the 2015~16.

Daaren Bukhari, Staff Writer

With December finally starting and the holiday season on the rise, it’s nice to have some special events here and there. One of those special events is “The Nutcracker” ballet, presented by the Ballet Arts Ensemble.

Four of our Portage Central High School students are partaking in this special event, seniors Sarah Stroh and Lianna Horn and sophomores Hannah Geerlings and Paige Parker.

The Ballet Arts Ensemble itself is a nonprofit organization created to practice the art of dancing, specifically classical ballet. It also has a team of teachers and guests artists from organizations that motivate and teach these students the way of dancing. The group consists of 14-20 dancers of middle to high schoolers that were chosen by audition.

The team has also received many awards in the past for their summer intensives and programs they attended. The received awards has totaled up to a outstanding $32,146. That’s quite impressive for a group of teenage dancers.

The members of the team take at least two ballet classes a week, including a weekly 4 hour Ensemble class.

“I spend about 2 hours per day and then it’s like 8-10 hours a week including every week practicing” Geerlings said.

Courtesy of Hannah Geerlings
Sophomore Hannah Geerlings practices in preparation for her role in the Russian variation of “the Nutcracker.”

The amount of time it takes for these teenagers to practice can accumulate to quite a bit, considering they have school to worry about as well.

Their upcoming event, “The Nutcracker” show will take place at Chenery Auditorium this Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. The show has a collaboration with many features such as live music by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, guest performers from the Kalamazoo Children’s chorus, and professional soloists from the Grand Rapids Ballet.

“I’m excited and it’s going to be good, we’ve spent a lot of work but it’ll be worth it. Plus, we do it every year and some of my closest friends are there so it’s really fun.” Geerlings said.

The tickets for the event itself will be from $15 to $22 depending on where you are seated.