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Sophomore Kaitlyn Chen: Dance Connection Palo Alto

Katie Shih

Sophomore Kaitlyn Chen: Dance Connection Palo Alto

There are many different holiday traditions, but for sophomore Kaitlyn Chen, no event or show encapsulates the spirit of the holidays like “The Nutcracker.” This year, Chen is participating in a production put on by her studio, Dance Connection Palo Alto.

While “The Nutcracker” story and ballet might be new to some people, Chen’s studio has formed a holiday culture around the play. “Our studio puts on the production every year, so it has become kind of like a tradition,” she said. “This is my third time being in it.”

With show dates fast approaching, practices and rehearsals have started to require a lot of Chen’s time. “We have mostly weekend rehearsals, and they have been pretty long and tiring recently,” she said. “But all the work always pays off in the end.”

The variety of roles throughout the ballet allows all of the dancers to learn different parts each year, Chen adds. “I’m part of the Snow and Flower corps,” she said. “[I am also part of] the Mirliton corps and am the lead Russian soloist.” A corps, according to Chen, is a large group of dancers who perform onstage as an ensemble.

For future dancers who wish to perform in “The Nutcracker,” Chen advises others to start by researching the ballet. “Learning the whole ‘Nutcracker’ plot is really important,” she said. “Watching a lot of ballet and even seeing another production of the ballet would be really helpful for reference.”

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