Wilson County young dancers chosen to perform in Nashville’s Nutcracker

Staff Reports • Updated Nov 20, 2016 at 10:00 AM

NASHVILLE– Nashville Ballet has selected 11 dancers from Wilson County to perform Dec. 3-23 at TPAC’s Jackson Hall as a part of the youth cast for Nashville’s Nutcracker. 

This year’s youth cast is Nashville Ballet’s largest to date, with 251 dancers from Middle Tennessee and the surrounding areas to perform alongside the professional company in the local holiday favorite. 

 Nashville’s Nutcracker will feature the following dancers from Wilson County:

• Grace Agosta, daughter of Tim and Leslie Agosta, as a Native American soldier.

• Mariana Campos, daughter of Rocio Campos, as a member of Andrew Jackson’s Cavalry.

• Annie Cater, daughter of Diane and Jeff Cater, as Clara.

• Olivia Dugdale, daughter of Angela Wilsdorf and Jonathan Dugdale, as a garden fairy. 

• Winston Dugdale, son of Angela Wilsdorf and Jonathan Dugdale, as a party boy.

• Blair Gipe, daughter of Janice Gipe-Penny and Gary King, as a Native-American Soldier.

• Sophia Lanham, daughter of Jennifer and Stephen Lanham, as a Baby Mouse.

• Katie Belle Raymond, daughter of Alan and Michele Raymond, as a Bon Bon.

• Embree Unick, daughter of Chris Unick, as a Russian Nesting Doll.

• Elianah Vanderschoot, daughter of Matthew and Serenity Vanderschoot, as a Bon Bon.

• Isabel Wells, daughter of Alison and Steve Wells, as a Bon Bon.

“Nashville’s Nutcracker simply wouldn’t be complete without the youth cast,” said Paul Vasterling, Nashville Ballet artistic director and CEO. “They bring a new, vibrant energy to each performance that’s contagious for both the performers and audience members. Giving the youth in our community an opportunity to perform in this holiday tradition adds to the magic of the season for them – and for us.”

This year’s Nashville’s Nutcracker youth cast members were selected from community-wide, open auditions. Members of the youth cast come from 12 counties throughout Middle Tennessee and Kentucky, including Bedford, Cheatham, Christian, Davidson, Dickson, Humphreys, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson. They will perform alongside all 47 members of Nashville Ballet’s professional company and second company.

 The performance opens at the 1897 Centennial Exposition in Nashville and weaves together the city’s historic landmarks and characters with one of the world’s most popular ballets to deliver a unique Nashville holiday tradition. Vasterling’s original concept and choreography dances past local landmarks including the Parthenon, Shelby Bottoms and Belle Meade Mansion as Clara journeys into her holiday dream with a magical cast of characters.

Nashville’s Nutcracker is presented by Benefits, Inc. Tickets start at $28 and can be purchased in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville, by phone at 615-782-4040 or at nashvilleballet.com. A complete performance schedule and more information can be found online.

Nashville Ballet is the largest professional ballet company in Tennessee. Nashville Ballet and the second company, NB2, a pre-professional training company, provide more than 75,000 arts experiences to adults and children annually through season performances and its community engagement programming. Curriculum-based community engagement programs bring dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries and public elementary, middle and high schools across the state. School of Nashville Ballet brings world-class dance instruction to students 2 to 70 years old.

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