Dance Company Celebrates Production’s 30th Anniversary


Jensen Rasmussen, Staff Writer

Dancers from the Contra Costa Ballet have spent hours every weekend since mid-September rehearsing The Nutcracker in the school’s Walnut Creek studios. While the fan-favorite production is performed annually, this year marks Contra Costa Ballet’s 30th anniversary of the production.

The anniversary is being commemorated with t-shirts and an afterparty, along with a performance that dancers hope will exceed expectations.

Sophomore Mia Kelly, performing as a Reed Flute and in the Waltz of the Flowers, said, “It feels really special to be a part of something and to see how Contra Costa’s grown as a company. Now that I’ve been here for so long and get to be a part of Company and perform for the 30th anniversary, I just feel really honored. It’s a big deal, they’ve made t-shirts and there’s going to be an afterparty.”

“I am really excited for this year’s production because all of the company dancers are working really well together, and I’m excited to see how it comes together on the stage with all of our costumes and makeup,” said sophomore Daylin Atwood, who will perform the roles of Rose Queen and Doll for the 2nd consecutive year.

The ballet school and its dancers work to create a family-friendly production that is “a holiday delight for the entire family,” according to its brochure.

English teacher Matt Ridenour, who attended Contra Costa Ballet’s production with his family last year, said, “For me, it was fun to see the way that my kids enjoyed it. They knew the story, but to see them actually see the live performance on stage was pretty magical for me. I was watching them as much as I was watching the performance.”

Dancers have dedicated countless hours towards their rehearsals, and their efforts will be rewarded with 7 performances at the Lesher Center for the Arts over Thanksgiving weekend. “We’ve had 6 hour rehearsals on Saturdays and we rehearse almost every night for big scenes like Waltz of the Flowers,” said Atwood.

“It’s been really great working with the director of our company, Zola Dishong, because she’s helping to personalize the choreography to us dancers,” Atwood added.

The commitment to the show is significant, as many dancers perform multiple parts. But, the show is highly anticipated by its performers and attendees. Freshman Greta Koslosky, dancing in the Arabian corps and as a mouse, said, “I’m excited for my family and friends to come see me, and it’s fun to perform always.”