Indiana Ballet Conservatory to perform “Nutcracker”

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The Indiana Ballet Conservatory will come to life this week with a production of the “Nutcracker.” Dancers from ages 7 to 17 will perform on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. and on Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m. Among the performers are two Carmel students, sophomore Courtney Messer and freshman Ashley McNally.

Messer, who will enter the stage as a young lady during the party scene, said, “My first performance in the ‘Nutcracker’ was when I was 7, and it was just little roles then. But I’m very familiar with the ballet, and I think this performance will help me grow as a dancer.”

With final exams approaching, Messer said she struggles to balance intense rehearsals with studying.

“Because of the performance and upcoming competitions, I’m rehearsing about 25 hours a week now,” she said. “It takes a lot of commitment and self discipline to achieve what we are trying to do and it can sometimes be overwhelming, especially with finals coming. But the support that we get from each other, our teachers, and our families really helps us fight through it.”

Freshman Ashley McNally, whose roles include a young lady and the Arab doll, said she usually has to find time for homeworkduring unusual times during the day, such as when she waits for her mother to pick her up from school.

About her fellow performers, Messer said, “We are such a family and we are basically like sisters, so even when rehearsals get really hard, we can reassure each other that it will be over soon and it will be worth it when we are dancing on stage and can look in the audience and see children’s and adult’s faces just light up.”

In a few short days, Messer will see her dedication’s rewards as she joins her fellow dance mates in a production of the “Nutcracker.” By Sheen Zheng