Dynamic dancers put their best feet forward in ‘The Nutcracker’
Pamela Hayes Classical Ballet has a lot to be proud of with its upcoming production of “The Nutcracker.”
The holiday ballet’s three principal dancers — Kristoffer Reyes (The Prince), Allyn Ginns (Sugar Plum Fairy) and Sarah Beth Kosterman (Clara) — are products of the acclaimed El Dorado Hills ballet studio.
“In two years at Pamela Hayes Classical Ballet I’ve learned a great deal,” said Reyes, 21. The Folsom resident and mechanical engineering major in college began studying ballet in 2010 as a tool to strengthen his musical theater performances.
“After a year with Pamela Hayes I decided to focus solely on ballet in the hope of becoming a professional ballet dancer,” Reyes explained. “Pam gave me a humility that made me work hard and will keep me working hard as long as I dance. She also gave me the confidence to dream.”
Kosterman, originally from Sacramento and now a dance performance major at Butler University in Indiana, studied with Hayes for 12 years and the 18-year-old said she’s learned to appreciate the value of hard work, both in the dance studio and life.
“The only way to get better is to work hard, stay determined and focused and to do the best with what you have,” she said. “The work ethic that I’ve developed throughout the years at ballet has helped me to succeed not just with dance, but with my academics as well.”
Ginns, 24, had a similar experience. The Georgetown University Law Center graduate studied in El Dorado Hills for five years and has regularly come back to perform in Pamela Hayes’ summer and Christmastime productions.
“I’m excited to come back in the role of Sugar Plum Fairy. It’s a role I’ve never danced before, even though I’ve performed in ‘The Nutcracker’ so many times,” said Ginns, who grew up in Elk Grove and now lives in New York City. “Last year I danced Clara for the second time, which I loved. I’m really excited to be dancing a new part this year.”
Kosterman also step into a new role as Clara, which she called “every little girls dream.” Since she’ll be performing the role as an adult, audiences can expect to see Clara doing more advanced steps. “I also love that the role of Clara requires not just dancing but acting as well, since Clara is such an important character in the story.” Kosterman said.
Reyes also promised to take The Prince’s character to a whole new level.
All three dancers said they love dancing, in the studio and on stage.
“I’ve truly never been happier than when I’m dancing. Dancing is an escape,” Kosterman said. “My thoughts, my worries, my stress, everything seems to disappear when I’m focused on my ballet class or those few minutes I perform on stage.”
“The most fulfilling is interpreting the emotions composers put behind their music,” Reyes explained. “In all my dancing I hope to use my life experiences to embody those emotions and portray them to an audience.”
Ginns said she can’t remember a time when she wasn’t dancing and even though she’s pursuing a law career, she still finds time to dance and work in the dance community. “I really love the energy of being on stage; there’s nothing else in the world quite like it.”
Pamela Hayes Classical Ballet’s performances of “The Nutcracker” will take place at Folsom Lake College’s Three Stages, 10 College Parkway in Folsom. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, and Saturday, Dec. 22, as well as 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 23. Tickets range from $15 to $23 with premium tickets selling for $26. Purchase them by calling (916) 608-6888 or visiting threestages.net.
For more information about Pamela Hayes Classical Ballet call (916) 435-1125 or visit phcb.org.