Two Squamish ballet dancers performed The Nutcracker with Goh Ballet at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver this month.
Brooklyn Morum and Avery Simmons, both 12 years old, train at the Howe Sound Dance Academy. They performed six shows between Dec. 15 and 18.
Each performance had more than 200 dancers, actors and gymnasts per show, according to Goh Ballet’s website.
Morum took on the role of Besos, a Spanish dancer, and Simmons took on the role of a large mouse.
“I really like the shows … they’re nerve-wracking but they’re really exciting,” said Simmons about her experience.
Morum said that performing in front of others was a real treat for her.
“It was nice to be on stage since we haven't been on stage in a while,” said Morum. “It was nice to perform with a big audience.”
The two said they tried out for Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker in June 2022.
“We both agreed that we both want to do it, so then we went down to the city in June for auditions,” said Simmons.
They then learned they would be in the show in August and starting practicing in September one day per week.
“Closer to the shows then we kept adding on more practices,” said Morum, adding it was six times per week as they neared the performances.
When asked how they balanced all the practice time, Morum laughed and said primarily by carpooling.
Both Morum and Simmons said they have been in ballet since they were about three years old. Even beyond their time with Goh Ballet, each of them practices ballet about six days per week.
Morum said professional dancers from all over the world performed in The Nutcracker with them.
“We both had a really good experience with the Goh Ballet and it was really inspiring to see all the professionals and dance with them,” said Morum.
“Goh Ballet's annual production of The Nutcracker provides aspiring dancers with an exceptional performance opportunity, bringing together the best local talent and principal dancers from world-renowned professional companies on the stage,” reads the description of the show on show’s website.
And though the two just finished this performance, it isn’t time to put up their ballet shoes.