Showtime for Dancers at Olympia High School

Abbey Daniels-Brown, Writer

It’s show time, once again, over at Studio West Dance Theatre as ballerinas hurry to perfect choreography and adjust costumes for this year’s spring show, Coppelia.

Coppelia is a love story full of comedic mishaps and romantic festivals, as an engaged man, Franz, mistakenly falls for a beautiful, life size, mechanical, doll. The doll, by the name of Coppelia, sits in her window all day ‘reading’, for this is where her toymaker, Dr. Coppelius, had placed her. Franz loves to admire her beauty. It doesn’t last long, however, as his heartbroken fiancé, Swanhilda, soon realizes his love is for someone other than herself and takes matters into her own hands. The plot unravels with disguises, potions, and more.

Senior, Nicole Carson, plays the sassy, snotty fiancé, Swanhilda and loves stepping into a character role and making it her own. In Carson’s eyes the months of training all finally pays off the moment she steps on stage. “There’s something about being under the lights in costume and full stage makeup as I do what I love that is intriguing and fulfilling,” she remarks. Carol Davis, another performer, agrees saying, “My favorite part is the challenge of finding a way to connect with my character and with the story.” Davis tries to use her personal life experiences to express each of the required emotions. “I am constantly challenged to step out of my comfort zone and be true to myself as an artist and a person.”

Compared to other extracurricular activities, ballet is about both the mental and physical struggle. Dancers must remember their choreography while trying to reach their leg in unnatural angles, turn fast as lightning numerous times, and jump through the air creating a flying illusion. Not only must they do these things but the performers must act making facial expressions accurate to their character. The few minutes of a dance on stage is merely a blur of the countless hours of struggle,

endurance, rehearsing, and energy put into making the production the best one yet.

For Carson, Davis, and their fellow performers, they only get one weekend to give a piece of their heart and passion to the audience in hope to make it the best. Coppelia will be Carson’s last chance as a high school student to reach her goals as a talented ballerina. “I’m blessed to have attended an awesome studio with excellent and encouraging teachers as well as amazing friends these past four years. All glory goes to God.”  She looks forward for Coppelia and Studio West Dance Theatre hopes to get the community out at the show this upcoming May 3, 4, 5. Tickets are available on Olytix.org and the performance will take place at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts over at SPSCC. Come on out and support your peers in the performance.