Queen Creek ballerina Keira cast as Clara for The Nutcracker

A Queen Creek ballerina is preparing for her leading role as Clara in the holiday classic, The Nutcracker.

Keira Hattenburg, 11, will transform into Clara, a young girl who falls asleep and dreams about a prince, for two shows on Dec. 15 as Brooksher Ballet presents its annual production of The Nutcracker at the Queen Creek Performing Arts, according to a release.

Since most ballet companies choose the role of Clara and other main characters, during ​auditions several weeks before the performance, Brooksher Ballet held its casting calls in August.

Many young ballerinas like Keira aspire to play the role of Clara in the Nutcracker so she was pleased to be cast among the best performers to portray the wealthy Staulbahm family awaiting the annual Christmas Eve party and guests.

Her parents were just as pleased that their daughter will have a starring role and look forward to her performance scheduled for 2 and 7 p.m. at the venue located 22149 E. Ocotillo Road in Queen Creek.

Her mom, Laura, answered a few basic questions below while inviting people to the young dancer’s upcoming performance:

How did she feel about being selected for the part?
Keira was so excited to be cast as Clara. This is a role she dreamed about since first seeing The Nutcracker.

What school does she attend?
Keira is a sixth-grader at Auxier Elementary School

What does she want to be when she grows up?
Keira has known since she was very young that she wanted to pursue a professional dance career. She has a demanding dance schedule already, training six days a week in pursuit of her dream.

How did you feel when she was chosen for the part?
As her parents, we were so proud of Keira being given the chance for a lead role in the nutcracker production.

We know that not only has she dreamed of that, but also know that it is a big growth opportunity for her to work on her performance skills and just being natural and confident on stage.

What does the family consist of besides your daughter, ie: spouse, other kids, pets?
We are a family of six with four dancing daughters and our Lab-mix, Brody, (he doesn’t dance though). Sienna, 9, Jade, 7, and Mia, 5 are all in the production as well.

Dance is absolutely a big part of our life. We fully support all of the girls doing dance and love that it keeps them happy, healthy and involved in a tight community.

How did she become involved with the production?
Keira has been involved in Nutcracker productions over the last three years. Some of her past roles included baby mouse, gingerette, party girl, soldier, Russian and jester.

This is a wonderful tradition that she looks forward to auditioning for every year. This is her second year at Brooksher Ballet, she is a level two dancer in the National Academy of Classical Ballet.

Tickets for the performance range from $14.50 to $19.50; children under 5 do not require a ticket.

Visit: brooksherballet.com or qcpac.com.

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