Ballet holiday: Snoqualmie girl to dance in PNW company’s ‘Nutcracker’

Cassidy Johnson can’t decide what the best thing about dancing in this year’s production of “The Nutcracker” by Pacific Northwest Ballet will be. On one hand, “I get to be on a big stage and dance with other dancers,” she said. On the other hand, “I shoot cannons, and march. And salute!”

Ballerina-at-home Cassidy Johnson giggles her way through a conversation about her upcoming performance in the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Nutcracker.”

Cassidy Johnson can’t decide what the best thing about dancing in this year’s production of “The Nutcracker” by Pacific Northwest Ballet will be.

On one hand, “I get to be on a big stage and dance with other dancers,” she said. On the other hand, “I shoot cannons, and march. And salute!”

She is sure about one thing in The Nutcracker. “It’s awesome!” she declared.

Cassidy, the 9-year-old daughter of Michael and Alisa Johnson of Snoqualmie, will dance in 19 performances of PNB’s traditional holiday show, which runs weekends from Nov. 26 through Dec. 27. She has been a ballet student for more than five years, and has been at PNB’s school for the last four years, so the idea of dancing in front of hundreds, maybe thousands of people, doesn’t scare her at all. Asked if she was nervous, her one-word response was “Nah!”

“She’s pretty brave,” said Alisa. “Last year when she danced at McCaw Hall, she was fine.”

Cassidy performed on the PNB’s stage then to an audience of “200 or so” (her parents thought it was more) for her graduation exercise after completing her Level 1 training. She is now Level 2, signified by the light blue leotard she wears for practice.

“Each level, you get to have a different color leotard,” Cassidy explained, and there are 12 levels. Will she make it through all 12 levels and colors? She strikes a dramatic thinking pose then gives a surprisingly grown-up answer. “I might… it just depends on how the other levels go.” Then she giggles and squirms in her chair some more.

Cassidy practices twice a week in Bellevue, and since winning the role of a toy soldier for the ballet, she also goes to Seattle for rehearsal once a week. It’s a busy schedule, even for her parents to keep track of, so they divided it.

“I’ve got the practices, he’s got the performances,” Alisa said.

Alisa and Cassidy spend a lot of time in the car, getting Cassidy to and from her events. Cassidy uses the time to read, sleep, or do homework from her classes at Cascade View Elementary, but her other hobby, the piano, has been put on hold.

The Nutcracker experience more than makes up for the loss, it seems. Cassidy talks excitedly about every aspect of her role, and describes in detail the arrival of the toy soldiers on stage. She’s near the beginning, in the “artillery, then it’s the infantry, then the officers and then the cavalry and then the baby mice, and then the mama mice….”

For more information on the Nutcracker, visit www.pnb.org/Season/10-11/Nutcracker.

More in Life

Mount Si Senior Center honors veterans at annual luncheon

Local veterans gathered at Mount Si Senior Center for the annual Veterans Day celebration.

Railroad history now in kiosk on Preston-Snoqualmie Trail

Folks who enjoy the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail may not remember that it is… Continue reading

North Bend completes full renovation of NE 12th Street

North Bend has completed a long time priority project, the improvement of NE 12th Street.

OPINION: Detox for your body and mind

Dr. Allison Apfelbaum is a naturopathic primary care doctor in Woodinville.

OPINION: KCLS supports citizen engagement year-round

Voter resources available at area libraries.

How do you define successful aging?

A column for seniors of the Snoqualmie Valley.

Fall City Historical Society hosts music and history performance on Oct. 19

Fall City Historical Society is hosting a performance by Bob Antone and Tinkham Road on Oct. 19.

Fall City Historic Signs map updated for 2018

The Fall City Historic Signs project will have fifteen signs throughout the city by the end of 2018.

Northwest Railway Musuem restores pews in chapel car

The Northwest Railway Museum is installing restored pews in Chapel Car 5

Fall City Historical Society features new theme for 2019 calendar

The Fall City Historical Society features their new theme

It’s time to get clear on recycling

A column by Michelle Metzler, Waste Management recycling education and outreach manager

Fall into Wellness | Healthy living

Steps to take right now rather than waiting for the new year