Dancing with love

Freshman prepares to dance in Nutcracker

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Olivia Lauter

Freshmen Julie Snow dances for the Academy of Dance Arts. Snow will perform in the studio’s production of the Nutcracker.

The blue skirt and red and blue top, along with a shimmer of a crown melts together as the princess twirls so fast that the earth follows her spin. She exits the stage, and  then everyone else leaves. The all light blue, glittery skirt and snowflake props head out on stage. In the next scene, a green top and pink skirt creates the flower. Freshman Julie Snow has three roles in the production: a flower, a snowflake and a Russian princess.

Julie will dance in the Nutcracker with the Academy of Dance Arts (ADA) on Nov. 11, 12 and 13. The production is normally done in the Eisemann Center, but will now occur in the ADA studio.

“For each role I have, it’s about production,” Julie said. “We’re all on point. Then, each role was kind of super cool. Each scene showcases a different skill and dance. The Russian scenes [showcase] jumps and tumbling and all that. Then, [for] the snow [and] flower scene, it’s super simple pretty ballet.”

Julie has Saturday rehearsals from noon to about 4 p.m.. She started preparing for the Nutcracker late September.  

“Usually, we’ll just practice with people in our roles, and then [on] Wednesdays we’ll get together with everybody in our scene,” Julie said. “Once it starts getting closer to the production time, we put almost the entire show together, and so usually everybody’s together.”

ADA puts on the Nutcracker annually. Julie’s first year to do the Nutcracker with ADA was in 2014. She said she “wasn’t really nervous” because she knew what to expect when mid September auditions came around. 

“It definitely takes up a lot of my time, but it’s super,” Julie said. “I love it, and it helps me grow as a dancer because I’m getting to experience every year even though I’ve done the same production. I get new roles every year, and so every year is different. It’s just helping me grow.”

Because of COVID-19, the dance studio is taking  precautions to keep the dancers safe while they practice.

“We have had to change some of the scenes just a little bit to make it, so people can be more spread out,” Julie said. “Sometimes everybody, especially the scenes where we need to act more people, will be super close to each other, so we had to change some of that. So, that’s been a little bit different.” 

Julie’s mom, Holly Snow, was a dancer and gymnast. 

“I love it,” Holly said. “Parts of me are jealous because I think her training is better than mine.I’m like ‘oh I’m jealous. I wish I had teachers like hers,’ but most of the time, I just love watching her up there. She’s beautiful, and I love to watch dancing anyway and to be able to see your own kid doing something you love. It’s in deep my soul, it just makes me happy.”

Julie practices contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap and hip-hop. Even though the Nutcracker is ballet, her favorite type of dance is either jazz or contemporary, but she enjoys the diversity ballet contains. 

“I just like the whole idea of Clara going through all the different worlds and everything,” Julie said. “I think that’s super cool because it shows off [that] ballet is just not one thing, and ballet can be really diverse.”

Julie practices on the weekdays, weekends and almost every day at dance class and home.

“When she got put in the Russian scene, which they have a lot of tumbling in it, she found out she was going to have that part,” Holly said. “She went out and taught herself how to do a roundoff back handspring, and that’s just how she is. She will learn whatever you put in front of her if she doesn’t know it, she’ll learn it until she can do it.”

When Julie was four she was put into dance classes at Cindy’s School of Dance, then at five she began dancing at her current dance studio, ADA. 

“We lived in Utah before we came out here when she was really little,” Holly said. “When she was three, I had a lady we went to church with and she was like ‘Oh, let’s put them in dance,’ and I don’t think I thought about it for very long because I loved it. I wanted my girls to do it, but Julie kind of loves everything she does. So she’s easy and hard because she loves everything.”

Brian Snow, Julies’ dad, and Holly help support their daughter’s dance.   

“We certainly pay for dance lessons and all that stuff, and we help with transportation back and forth to do all of that,” Brian said. “We certainly encourage her to follow her passions, the things she enjoys. She really enjoys dance. It’s something that she spends time not only with practice, which she spent a lot of time with at the actual studio [doing], but she does a lot on her own at home. She really enjoys doing it, so we support her in what she likes to do.”

Julie doesn’t just look at doing the dances in a production, but she also focuses on the creation of the moves. 

“We’ve seen her that she actually enjoyed the choreography side of it too in terms of helping makeup different dances and putting moves and things together,” Brian said. “And so she likes to suggest young changes and things to the dancers to her teachers, but [they are] not always accepted all the time of course. She likes to work with them as far as helping to create the dances and I think that kind of speaks to her creative side which she has, too.”