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Young dancers take on ‘The Nutcracker’ BY MEGHAN MCCOY

The story of a little girl’s magical journey will grace the Chandler Center for the Arts’ stage during Ballet Etudes’ production of “The Nutcracker.” Boasting performances by two Chandler girls, “The Nutcracker” will hit the stage Friday, Nov. 28, through Sunday, Nov. 30, and Friday, Dec. 5, through Sunday, Dec. 7. The performance includes matinees and evening showings. Tickets are $25 to $29. For the first time since Ava Ownby began dancing seven years ago, the Arizona School for the Arts’ fifth-grade student will play a gingerette in the two-act ballet. “This is my first year with the company,” Ava says of Ballet Etudes. “I’m very excited about performing in ‘The Nutcracker.’” As the gingerette, Ava says she is a child of mother ginger and she arrives on stage via a big dress. “We do some funny jumps and cartwheels and stuff to entertain them and it’s supposed to be really cute,” she explains of the role. “I enjoy it because it is fun and we get to do all sorts of things that aren’t always ballet.” Decade of dance A ninth-grade student at Hamilton High School, Sarah Diniz began dancing

when she was 4 years old. Now entering into her 10th year of performing, she dances Mondays through Saturdays. “I really enjoy that it is a way to express yourself,” she says. “No matter how good or bad your day was, when you are dancing you can forget about everything that has happened before and really express your feelings.” In her fourth year with “The Nutcracker,” Sarah is playing the mechanical doll, senior snow and senior flower. “The mechanical doll wears all pink and she is blonde,” she explains. “She is very delicate and she’s kind of a present to Clara during the party.” Ava invites the public to watch the performance because it is beautiful and adorned with decorations. “‘The Nutcracker’ is just a fun show to come and watch,” Sarah adds. “It is great for all age levels.” The Chandler Center for the Arts is located at 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler. To purchase tickets, call (480) 782-2680 or visit http:// Meghan McCoy is the Neighbors and Business section editor for the SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at

October 18 - 31, 2014



LEADERSHIP QUALITY: Hannah Stevenson of Chandler is this year’s honoree for Girl Scouts’ Women and Young Women of Distinction Leadership Award. Hannah, a student in the STEM Scholar program at Perry High School, helped lead Basha High’s girls’ volleyball team to its first state championship tournament. She also led a committee to keep students and the community informed about the volleyball team’s progress, creating a website and working year-round to keep content updated. “Leadership isn’t a one-time thing,” says Hannah. “It’s a character trait that can be demonstrated anytime and anywhere.” To learn more about the award, visit Submitted photo

Santan Sun News 10-18-2014: Issue  
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