Accomplishment: Emily Aurand, of Cortlandt, will perform the lead role of Clara, the Dance Theatre in Westchester's production of the holiday classic at Yorktown Stage.
Key to Awesomeness: On Dec. 17 and 18, Emily Aurand, a freshman at Hendrick Hudson High School will realize her lifelong dream of dancing the part of Clara, in a ballet she knows well.
Emily has been performing in productions of The Nutcracker since she was seven years old and said she has always wanted to play the lead in this beloved family-friendly ballet. “I was so excited to get this role,” she said. “I have achieved something I have wanted since I was little and it makes me feel like I can do anything.”
Tchaikovsky's ballet, The Nutcracker is based on a story by German author E.T.A. Hoffmann. It tells the magical tale of a Nutcracker doll given as a Christmas present to Clara who then comes to life as a handsome prince, and their fantastic adventures together.
Nicole Aurand, Emily’s mother, who knows the rigors of supporting a serious ballet dancer, said she is extremely proud of how her daughter has balanced five-day a week practices with an advanced school load and has still managed to make the honor roll. “I know Emily has worked very hard and has always wanted to play Clara—it is very exciting."
With only six weeks off from a year, Emily said ballet dancing is “all-consuming.” But she added, “I would not have it any other way. Dancing keeps me going and allows me to forget about any worries I have.”
“The Nutcracker “will be presented by the Dance Theater in Westchester on December 17 and 18. Tickets are $19 to $26 at Yorktown Stage