First Person: Student shares experiences of dancing in ‘The Nutcracker’


Jordan Gummere

“The Nutcracker” is one of those events that every little girl wants to go to. The ballet has become a huge part of my life from going and seeing the show every year until I was 8 to actually participating in the show. I have been dancing since I was 3 years old, but I have been involved in “The Nutcracker” ever since I was 7. This will be my 8 year in Central Ohio Youth Ballet’s (COYB) amazing show. Through all my years of participating in “The Nutcracker” my senior year is the most memorable one.

Dancers in “The Nutcracker” pose before going on stage. Photo courtesy of Sally Gummere

This year I got the privilege of receiving the lead role in the Waltz of the Flowers. I get to partner with one of my best friends, Conner Triplett. This lead role is one of the roles every girl dreams about having. You become a leader and one of the most advanced dancers for others to look up to. Receiving this role is such a huge honor because I am now one of those advanced dancers in COYB. I love the fact that the younger girls are able to look up to me.

As a senior and lead soloist in the ballet, I am able to reflect on my entire experience with COYB. There are so many different aspects that make our “Nutcracker” so unique. There’s Drosselmyer and his magic, the snow in our snow scene, the beautiful costumes and the amazing people behind the scenes and on stage. Drosselmyer is Clara’s uncle who comes and performs some magic for all the party guests, and whom gives her the gift of the nutcracker doll. We use snow in the snow scene when Clara is traveling to the land of the sweets, and it makes everything so magical! We have all our gorgeous costumes from our costume ladies whom work every day to complete them. There are also the people behind the scenes who help out the dancers so much and really help us put the show together. We put on a show in 9 weeks, which most say is impossible to do. However, every year we manage to pull it off.

The bond between every cast member and the support we give each other is a big part in why we are able to have the show ready. I have so many memories in the millions of rehearsals I have been in, and the numerous times I have performed “The Nutcracker” at the Midland Theatre in downtown Newark. Sometimes rehearsals can get very stressful, but each member is very supportive of each other. Getting to work in the theatre is such a magical experience because it starts to become real that we are performing what we have been working so hard on so soon. But we also start to realize that it is almost over.

Usually when it is over, I get to think about doing it next year again. But this year, I won’t get to think that. I get to reflect on all my experiences and memories. I am able to dance with some of my closest friends for the last time. The friendships and connections that are made through COYB is what makes the youth company so unique. I look at all the younger girls that I have seen grow so much. Some girls I have watched change enormously throughout my years with COYB, and it will be very bittersweet to leave them.

It is both sad and exciting because I get to experience new things, but I have to leave everyone and everything I know so well. I am so thankful for the amazing experience I have had with COYB.

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