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Meet the SHA Students Taking the Lead in the Nutcracker

The Nutcracker will open this evening, Friday, November 17 at 7:00 p.m.  Dozens of talented Sacred Heart Academy students have worked tirelessly designing costumes and sets, choreographing dances, and rehearsing for the show. 


Introducing some of the leads in this year’s production of The Nutcracker:

 SHA senior Alexandra Miller will star as Clara in the school’s production of The Nutcracker.  Alexandra has 14 years of dance experience in tap, jazz and ballet and has played a role in the Nutcracker in each of her four years at SHA.

In addition to the Nutcracker, Alexandra is a member of the SHAkettes kickline team and is serving as Captain of the Red Team for Sacred Heart’s Red and Gold competition in January. 

Starring in The Nutcracker at Sacred Heart has taught Alexandra that “there is more to the story than just your individual dance.  All of our dances contribute to one story and each performance enhances the whole show. I’ve learned that women can break barriers, but it’s still ok to ask for help.  Kindness it not a weakness, it is a strength.”

SHA senior Annabella Pierre is serving as the Costume Captain.  Annabella’s responsibilities include the selections, fittings and alterations of all of the costumes, as well as the props for each character in the student-produced performance.

“Working in the Costume Club has taught me to be organized and has taught me leadership and problem-solving skills,” Annabella said of her experience working with the ballet.  “Sacred Heart has taught me to be a strong woman and that I can do anything if I work hard and really want it.” 

In addition to her role with the Nutcracker, Annabella is a member of Sacred Heart’s Key Club, which is focused on service to the community.  

Junior Lauren Sommers will star as the Dew Drop Fairy.  Lauren has been dancing since the age of three and currently attends Tap to Pointe Dance Center in Malverne.

Lauren has participated in The Nutcracker since her freshman year.  This year she dances in snow and marzipan, as well as the starring role of Dew Drop Fairy.  She says of her experience, “it has taught me to become a leader and that if you work hard, you can achieve your goals.”

In addition to the Nutcracker, Lauren is a member of Awakening the Dreamer, a club that evaluates and examines our connection with Earth and promotes an ethic of environmental and social justice, Red and Gold, and she is a Mission representative for her homeroom.   

Of her experience thus far at Sacred Heart, Lauren says she has learned that “if you put your mind to something, you can do it.  The teachers guide you and push you to do the best you can.  I will always remember to take this with me and I will be a strong, independent leader and will help others do the same.”

Senior Mary Hughes will star as the Sugarplum Fairy.  Mary has danced for over 15 years at Tap to Pointe Dance Center, and participated in the Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensives for ballet and jazz.

Her participation in SHA’s Nutcracker began when she played an angel for three years while still in elementary school at Our Lady of Lourdes in Malverne.  This year, she is the Dance Theatre president at Sacred Heart.

“Sacred Heart has taught me that the most rewarding experiences are when you come together and work endlessly with your peers to achieve something you couldn’t be more proud of,” Mary said.  “My experience with the Nutcracker has taught me leadership, time management and an appreciation for all different styles of ballet.”

This year, Mary will also serve as Captain of the Gold kickline team at Sacred Heart’s Red and Gold competition in January.  She is also a member of the Ranger Rosary club, which gathers together to make rosaries to send to troops overseas.

Senior Paige Michels will star as the Snow Queen.  Paige has participated in the annual performance in each of her four years at Sacred Heart, and also serves as choreographer for the dance “Party and Snow.”

She is a nine-year member of a national award-winning competitive dance team at Miss Colleen’s Elite Dance Centre in Rockville Centre, training several days a week in ballet, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, tap and hip hop.

“My experience with the Nutcracker has taught me that the most beautiful art is created when people with different dance backgrounds, but the same passion for dance, join together to contribute different insights into the production.”

Paige shines in the classroom as well. Her academic honors include being a member of the National Honor Society, as well as the Math, Spanish and Science Honor societies.  She is also participates on the Varsity Math Team and Seniors for Seniors, a community service club that allows SHA students to visit with senior residents to take part in various activities. 

Senior Beth Wetterhahn will serve as Stage Tech for Sacred Heart Academy’s production of The Nutcracker.  Her responsibilities include calling all cues – curtains, lights, sound, and stage, ensuring a seamless production.

“Participating in The Nutcracker has taught me how to work well with others, how to lead and how to handle any situation,” Beth said.  “Sacred Heart has allowed me to find my true self.”

Beth is a member of the National Honor Society and the Science Honor Society.  In addition to the Nutcracker, Beth participates in the Student Technical Director for SHA’s musical, which takes place annually in the spring.     

Senior Erin Donnelly will serve as Tech Director for Sacred Heart’s production of The Nutcracker this weekend.

Erin has been a member of the Techniques team at SHA for all four years and is also a member of the Instrumental and Chamber Ensembles, the Pit Band and CSJ Leaders.   She credits the leadership opportunities at Sacred Heart for helping her build the poise to step up to this challenge.

“When I was a freshman I never thought I could be Techie captain,” Erin said.  “But working hard the past three years has prepared me and given me the confidence to know what I am capable of.”

In addition to tonight’s show, The Nutcracker will be performed on Saturday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 19 at 2:00 p.m.  Tickets are $10 in advance, available by calling 516.483.7383 x0 or $15 at the door.