OAKHURST – After four months of hard work and weekend rehearsals, three local students took the stage last month in the Valley Preforming Arts Council’s (VPAC) presentation of the holiday classic The Nutcracker.
Elseana Skowronski, Rebecca Casey and Tara Neil are mountain area dancers, and each bested a host of competitors to earn a spot in the production, featuring Sacramento Ballet with the Fresno Ballet Theater.
In June, 2013, dancers from all over central California auditioned at Fresno State for a chance to be part of this holiday tradition. 115 student dancers and performers from 16 area cities were chosen to be part of this year’s performance, including 3 talented local girls.
Elseana Skowronski, age 15, attends Glacier High School Charter and Oakhurst Community College. She attends classes at Yosemite Dance Company, The Dance Studio of Fresno and Mariposa Academy of Performing Arts. She also attended classes at the Studio 2 in Fresno and summer programs at Northwest Studio.
This was Elseana’s fourth year in The Nutcracker with VPAC. She performed as a candy cane and at the last minute she was asked to learn the angel role due to another dancer’s injury.
In addition to Elseana’s primary roles, she was an understudy for the role of a flower. Also preforming this year were Elseana’s father, Marvin Kramer, and one of her brothers, Clancy Kramer, as Arabian Litter Bearers.
Tara Neil, age 16, is a junior at Yosemite High School. This was Tara’s second year preforming in the Nutcracker. Her role was candy cane and she too was an understudy for the flowers. Tara attends classes at Northwest Studio and Yosemite Dance Company.
Rebecca Casey, age 10, is a fifth grader at Oakhurst Elementary School. She attends ballet classes at Butterfly Dance Studio in Mariposa. She has also taken summer classes at Central West Ballet in Modesto. This was Rebecca’s first year preforming in The Nutcracker with VPAC. She danced in the role of a party scene boy and a Chinese dancer.
Along with schoolwork and other activities, Elseana, Rebecca and Tara took on this very big commitment, rehearsing every weekend beginning the first week of August, sometimes up to four hours a day. The rewards for all their hard work are shared by both the girls and the audiences who were treated to their delightful performances.