For decades, Ballet Austin’s “Nutcracker’ has served as a valuable training ground for up-and-coming dancers.
This year’s no exception, with about 140 Ballet Austin Academy students set to take part.
One of those dancers is the daughter of CBS Austin news anchor Adela Uchida.
Siobhan, 9, said she’s long wanted to be in “The Nutcracker.”
“I wanted to do this because I like to perform,” the fourth-grader said. “And when I heard in second grade that I could be in ‘The Nutcracker,’ but I had to work hard, my mom told me I could probably do it.”
“I’m very proud of her,” Uchida said. “I had this idea that allowing her to audition would teach her some lessons about hard work paying off, so I was worried about what I was going to say if she didn’t make it. Her reaction when she found out was priceless, though. It was the first time I have seen my child cry in happiness.”
While Uchida said she danced for a time when she was younger, she later switched to running, swimming and soccer. Siobhan, though, looks like she’s sticking with dancing for now.
“I started taking her to see ‘The Nutcracker’ when she was 4,” Uchida said. “We lived in Houston at the time, so it was the Houston Ballet production. We continued the tradition here in Austin – last year we saw the Ballet Austin production at the Long Center and it was so much fun.
“She liked watching the ballerinas in ‘The Nutcracker’ and pre-ballet was offered at her school in the Houston area, so it was a natural thing that she wanted to do. She really started focusing on it this year though, when she realized she could be a part of this production.”
Siobhan, who will dance the role of an angel, said she finds the costumes, in particular, appealing. But that’s not all.
“I love watching people en pointe or trying to get higher (on her feet) and closer to pointe, even though I can’t do pointe yet,” she said. “I want to become famous one day.”
“The Nutcracker” runs through Dec. 23 at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets, visit balletaustin.org.