For the last four months, 17-year-old Linsey Wegener of Carson City has worked hours of rehearsal into her schedule already filled with homework and enjoying her senior year. She hasn't had much time to reflect on what happens once it's over.
After six years performing in "The Nutcracker Ballet - All Jazz'd Up," this year's rendition will be her final performance.
"It's kind of sad, but fun to know that I will be moving on and doing other things," Wegener said.
But before she packs her bags for college, she is focused on ending her run with danceSpirit Performing Arts on top, starring as Clara in the update of Tchaikovsky's classic ballet.
"It's a jazz performance which makes it more fun to do. Jazz is just more fun to perform than ballet," she said.
Even though she is set to take on a major role in the show, she didn't really like dance when she first joined danceSpirit.
"My sister wanted to do it, and I wanted nothing to do with it. But we are sisters so we did it together. I kept doing it because I just wanted to be better than her," she said.
Wegener said she likes the addition of jazz music and moves to the ballet, but also knows that it means more rehearsal, learning choreography, and lifting by her partner, Marcus Quiroga, 28, who plays the Nutcracker.
"This performance isn't a traditional 'Nutcracker.' This one has a lot of fun elements and different musical styles and styles of dance. The choreography doesn't take too long to learn, but the lifting takes a long time," Quiroga said.
The play features 80 dancers ranging in age from 3 to 83. It offers patrons a re-mixed, more lively score that is directed and choreographed by Sandi Scheer.
Darin Tedford, 34, joined the cast as Uncle Drosselmeyer, because his daughters began taking dance.
"Watching the kids that are in it, that's what makes the rehearsals and the work worth it," Tedford said. "This performance has traditional parts, but since it's all jazzed up, it has a different variety and is higher on entertainment value than a traditional ballet."
The performance will also feature Nicole Merher of Gardnerville as the Dewdrop Fairy. Rebecca Jolly of Carson City will portray the Sugarplum Fairy, and Craig Hempstead from Promasters in Las Vegas will appear as the Cavalier.
"The Nutcracker Ballet - All Jazz'd Up" is scheduled to be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Carson City Community Center. Tickets for either performance are available at danceSpirit Performing Arts Studio, 951 N. Stewart St., or at the door.
-- Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.