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Sharing holiday cheer: For young ballerina, fit is ‘right’


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Abigail Alfrey, a fifth-grader at Westwood Elementary, will perform in Butler University's production of ''The Nutcracker.'' PHOTO BY SCOTT ROBERSON
Abigail Alfrey, a fifth-grader at Westwood Elementary, will perform in Butler University's production of ''The Nutcracker.'' PHOTO BY SCOTT ROBERSON

Abigail Alfrey, a fifth-grader at Westwood Elementary, will perform in Butler University's production of ''The Nutcracker.'' PHOTO BY SCOTT ROBERSON
Abigail Alfrey, a fifth-grader at Westwood Elementary, will perform in Butler University's production of ''The Nutcracker.'' PHOTO BY SCOTT ROBERSON


Two years ago, the 10-year-old ballerina remembers watching the production of “The Nutcracker” and being amazed at the ballet techniques and costumes.

Abigail Alfrey had an idea. One day, she decided, she would be one of the girls to wear a gorgeous costume while performing the iconic ballet.

Two years later, the fifth-grader at Westwood Elementary earned her shot.

Abigail has a child chorus role in Butler University’s production of “The Nutcracker,” opening Nov. 29.

She will join about a dozen other child ballet dancers who come out of Mother Gigogne’s massive skirt in the second act and will dance with the rest of the cast in the finale.

She remembers staring in awe at the Indianapolis City Ballet’s production about two holiday seasons ago.

Complicated dance moves and pretty costumes made her want to be a part of the production when her ballet skills improved.

This year, to make sure she got a role, she auditioned for both Butler and the city’s production of the ballet.

If you go

What: Butler University’s production of “The Nutcracker.”

When:7:30 p.m. Nov. 29; 8 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1; 2 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2.

Where: Clowe’s Memorial Hall, 4602 Sunset Ave., Indianapolis.

Price: Call 317-940-6444 or toll-free

800-732-0804. Tickets start at $27.75.

About 90 other aspiring child ballerinas were at the Butler audition, said her mother, Karen Alfrey.

She was one of about a dozen young children chosen for five performances.

“I love dance; it is my only hobby,” Abigail said. “It pushed me to try out.”

And being a part of Butler’s production has been time consuming, Abigail said.

When rehearsals first started earlier this month, she rehearsed a few times a week.

Now, in the final weeks leading up to rehearsal, she works on her dance moves almost daily.

Butler’s production has been just right for her skill set, she said.

She has learned how to do a complicated ballet turn and been given tips on how to place her feet, but she hasn’t been overwhelmed by the moves, she said.

“It is not too easy and not too hard. It is just right,” Abigail said.

Dancing comes naturally to the pre-teen. Her parents signed her up for dance classes when she was 4 years old after she danced around the house as a toddler.

She immediately loved them and developed a natural talent for jazz and ballet, Karen Alfrey said.

Abigail dances with competitive squads at a dance studio in Greenwood, and said she does what she can to improve her skills.

Ballet isn’t her favorite style of dance, but she wanted performance experience in the rigid technique and graceful parts of the dance to help her with her favorite styles: jazz and lyrical.

When rehearsal first began for “The Nutcracker,” she spent time at home perfecting the dance moves she had learned.

“I have tried (the steps) before and have gotten pretty good at them,” Abigail said.

And being in the cast of “The Nutcracker” has given her an inside peek at a professional theater production.

The youngster studies musical theater at her dance studio, but she gets to see behind the scenes more at “The Nutcracker.”

She has been through costume fittings and knows that this year, child chorus members get new costumes.

“You actually see how a play works,” she said.

Next year, she hopes to have the same role, she said.

“I think my costume will still fit me if I get the same role.”

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