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

From left: Captain Nick Almquist, Gini Ekoes, Heather Payne, and Chief Perry Phipps. Courtesy photo.
Sno-Valley Eagles Post #3529 host First Responders Appreciation Day

All proceeds went to support fallen Kent police officer’s family.

Group gathers 950 pounds of garbage along North Fork

Local community group cleans up garbage from popular camping and shooting spot.

Friends of the North Bend Library offer free books for Valley Reads series

All reigstrants will receive a copy of “The Middle Fork” by Brad Allen.

Snoqualmie Valley Relay for Life raises more than $75,000

Community members from around Valley came together at Tollgate Farm Park for the 2018 Relay for Life

North Bend Block Party begins Saturday, July 21

North Bend Way will be packed with entertainment, live music, food, and fun on Saturday, July 21.

Theater in the Park returns to Si View on July 29

Valley Center Stage will perform “The Bremen Town Black Cat Band” at Si View Community Park.

Snoqualmie casino announces new “free concert Fridays” series

Free outdoor concert series promises “high-energy, boot-stompin’ and sing-along fun.”

Eastside Fire & Rescue welcomes new Community Liaison Officer

The position was filled by Captain Steve Johnson when he began the assignment on July.

DirtFish hosts their first SummerFest community event

Hundreds came out to DirtFish headquarters in Snoqualmie for the first ever SummerFest event.

Public cooling locations open throughout the Snoqualmie Valley

Locations open in response to high weather forecasts through July

Salish Lodge & Spa expansion project public hearing scheduled

The hearing will be held at City of Snoqualmie Planning Commission meeting, July 16, 2018 at 7 p.m.

Lambert selected for national Women in Government Leadership Program

Annual program highlights elected women to mentor the next generation of women seeking public office