Each year, Metropolitan School of the Arts strives to present our rendition of the Nutcracker with new dancers cast in each role! This season we are excited to welcome dancers Danielle and Anya to the stage as our Clara’s! To learn more about this year’s feature dancers, read below!
Age: 15 years old
Grade & High school: I am a sophomore in high school (10th grade) and I attend the Academy at Metropolitan School of the Arts.
What is your favorite part about playing the role of Clara? My favorite part about playing Clara is all of the acting involved! I love being able to tell a story while I dance and that’s one of the main parts about Clara. She holds on to the story throughout the entire show and has to perform the entire time, which I absolutely love!
How many hours per week do you dance? I dance for 25 hours a week
What is your favorite style of dance? My favorite is musical theater jazz!
What other classes or lessons are you taking at MSA? I take a variety of other dance classes like tap, jazz, modern, and partnering. I am also part of iMpulse and MYB. I also take private voice lessons and acting classes at MSA!
Where are you hoping to attend college? I don’t know where I would like to go to college yet, but I do know that I would like to major in dance or Musical Theater with a strong concentration in dance.
What is your one biggest dream after you graduate high school? One of my biggest dreams after highschool is to perform professional musical theater works (hopefully on broadway)! I have always loved dancing on stage and so being able to mix this with my acting and vocal training would be a dream. I would love to do dance-heavy works like Chicago, Anything Goes, Bandstand, and Anastasia!
Who has been your biggest inspiration? My biggest inspiration has always been my parents. Both of them show such great work ethic and drive and it is very influential for me. They have always given me such support on what I do, from driving me to school/dance every day to taking me to New York and LA to further my training/give me audition experience. I will forever be grateful for the support and love they have and continue to give me.
What other roles have you played in the Nutcracker? I actually started Nutcracker when I was seven and had the role of a little mouse. From there I have played a lot of other roles, some of my favorites being Garlands, Chinese, Snow Soloist, and Party Girl/Boy.
What is one thing you’d like for people to know about this year’s Nutcracker production? I’d like everyone to know that our very own Charlie Abel will be playing the role of Drosselmeyer in this year’s Nutcracker. He brings a new take to the classic role and has also given us the opportunity to try new things within the show. You should be very excited to see what he’s done, it’s amazing!
Grade & High school: I am in tenth grade and I attend the Academy at MSA
What is your favorite part about playing the role of Clara? My favorite part about playing the role of Clara is being able to interact with so many people on stage. The role of Clara allows for a lot of freedom on stage, unlike a lot of other roles in the Nutcracker. In rehearsals, I have loved acting with the other cast members and playing off of their acting choices, and I am so excited to get to the stage!
How many hours per week do you dance? I dance about thirty-two hours a week.
What is your favorite style of dance? My favorite style of dance is contemporary.
What other classes or lessons are you taking at MSA? I am also taking jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop, and modern dance classes at MSA, as well as vocal lessons.
Where are you hoping to attend college? I am not yet sure where I want to attend college, but I know that I want to major in dance or commercial dance and continue my performing arts training.
What is your one biggest dreams after you graduate high school? One of my biggest dreams after I graduate high school is to be a part of the ensemble in a broadway show like American in Paris or A Chorus Line. Shows like these are very dance heavy and they allow me to utilize my training in every style, especially ballet.
Who has been your biggest inspiration? My parents have been my biggest inspiration. They’re endless support and love has helped get me through the good times and the bad. They have set such an amazing example for me and my siblings with everything they do for us. My parents sacrifice so much of their time to driving me to dance class, rehearsals, shows, etc, and I am so grateful to them.
What other roles have you played in the Nutcracker? I have also done Snow, Dream, Arabian Corps, Garland, Russian Corps, and Harlequin Doll.
What is one thing you’d like for people to know about this year’s Nutcracker production? I’d like people to know that Stephen Hanna will be dancing Cavalier in this year’s Nutcracker production. Stephen Hanna is a former principal with New York City Ballet and has performed in musicals such as Billy Elliot, On The Town, and Hello Dolly, so we are very lucky to have him!