Dancing into the holidays


Emma Naille



For many families, attending a performance of “The Nutcracker” is a holiday tradition. Fortunately, there are many productions to choose from that even showcase the talent of students. The Midland Theatre puts on a production of “The Nutcracker” in the traditional ballet style that many high school, middle school, intermediate and elementary students are involved in.

Junior Ava Hamstead has been involved in this show for many years. She has been dancing in this show “since 2007…so for nine years.” Having been involved for so long, Hamstead has gotten to be showcased in more difficult roles.

“I’m the Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, Waltz lead and Arabian lead,” said Hamstead. However, she is not the only dancer in the show who is also a Granville student.

“In the high school it’s me and Jordan Gummere, and from the middle school there is Kaitlyn Federer and Anna-Kate Heath. Then there’s a couple in the intermediate and elementary school,” said Hamstead. She also mentioned that students from other studios in Licking and Knox county are a part of the show.

The show takes a lot of hard work that dancers have been putting in since school started. Hamstead said that they started practicing the weekend after school started in the middle of August. Hamstead said they practice for the show “a lot.”

“Wednesdays it’s from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and then Saturdays it’s like 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sundays it’s 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.,” Hamstead said referring to their weekly practice schedule. But the work is worth it for these dancers.

“I like how it’s so much fun to have everyone together and we’re just a really big family because there’s so many of us and we’re together all the time.” Hamstead said.

Those wishing to go see “The Nutcracker” at the Midland Theatre can go see it November 25 at 8:00 p.m. , November 26 at 2:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., or on November 27 at 2:30 p.m.. To buy tickets, you can visit their website or call (740) 345-5483.

However, for families looking to see something non-traditional there is “The Celtic Nutcracker” featuring Irish dancing. Junior Olivia Rutherford, a dancer in the show, said she’s “been involved in the past four Nutcrackers.” Though the dancers are not assigned “specific roles” because the size of their studio is “not comparable to that of a ballet school,” every dancer is a part of “multiple dances.” Rutherford will dance “in five dance numbers.”

Other students involved include Katie Bauman and Emma Cummiskey and “a lot of younger dancers” from the Intermediate and Elementary schools.

In order to begin working on the performance, the dancers “have a week long camp in July” where they “start learning new dances and getting the footwork down pat.” Rutherford also said they practice  “every Thursday for about an hour” on a regular basis, but as the show approaches they “rehearse Monday through Thursday for four to five hours a night.”

“I love that ‘The Celtic Nutcracker’ is different from the traditional nutcracker and I just love being an Irish dancer,” said Rutherford.

Families can go see “The Celtic Nutcracker” at the Lincoln Theatre at one of their “two performances at 2 pm and 7 pm on December 3rd.” To get tickets, call (614) 469-0939 or visit their website.