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Students perform The Nutcracker with NYC Ballet Company

Posted at 6:03 PM, Dec 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-08 18:03:32-05

As kids we explore different after-school activities, for some it's baseball and soccer that stick, for others it's track and field, for this talented group, it's ballet.

On gorgeous green rolling acres in Joppa sits a wood shingle building housing the Dance Conservatory of Maryland.

Inside the kids excitedly chatter, before their teacher, Barclay Gibbs, calls them into place.

Soon the room is transformed, into art in motion. It's emotional, with the music crashing into a crescendo or lulling you into a dream.

For the dancers, it brings a sense much more.

"It's not really like a sport to me, I do it more to let myself free and live," 10-year-old Rory said she breaks free from school stresses like math homework.

"I think it's just sometimes the movement, I think the way you can make your body move, it's just really beautiful, and it's really enjoyable as well," Ezra Paisley, 14, said.

Ezra made the switch from baseball to ballet, inspired by his sister and the difficulty of ballet.

"It's giving them confidence that I can't. Ballet gives them body assuredness, it gives them self confidence, it gives them poise and it gives them character," Carla Paisley said. She has four kids in ballet, including Ezra and his older brother. Paisley said it started as a challenge, to show the other siblings how hard ballet is.

Ezra's been in ballet for 10 years and never looked back.

"You definitely have to be strong both mentally and physically, because it's a lot sometimes to rehearse 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., so it's pretty hard," Ezra said.

Every student, passionate about their love of ballet.

Rory said "I want to be either a professional ballet dancer or a ballet teacher."

Their very own instructor, Gibbs is also the owner of The Dance Conservatory of Maryland, is thrilled to bring The Nutcracker back to Towson. They've been practicing since September.

"The first Nutcracker that Towson University Dance Company did back in, well a very long time ago, I was a student at their children's program and I was Clara," Gibbs said it felt like she's coming home and bringing her students with her.

Her students will perform with 30 guest dancers including those from the New York City Ballet Company.

The students are beyond excited to ask their idols how they do it.

"I'm going to ask them what's the most important in their training," Rory said.

"How do you push yourself to always get the best, even when you're dead tired? Just like push yourself and find the best you can?" Ezra said.

Driven to become the best they can be, perfecting fluttering feet, tight twirls and levitating leaps.

Showtime is at Stephens Hall Theater December 9th, and 10th.

  • Dec. 9th at 1 p.m. & 6 p.m.
  • Dec. 10th at  p.m.