BLOWING ROCK — Local precision dance troupe The Carolina Snowbelles is headed to the nation’s capital to debut its newly conceived holiday show titled "A Carolina Snowbelle Christmas" on Dec. 15 at 6 p.m on the prestigious Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
The Carolina Snowbelles Precision Dance Company, directed by Cheryl Cutlip, along with the Western Carolina Youth Ballet Company, directed by Brad Parquette, will perform in the one-hour production.
The 28-member dance troupe has been rehearsing this one-hour show since August – its most ambitious and comprehensive performance to date. "A Carolina Snowbelle Christmas" will feature precision tap and jazz, vocal performance, and ballet, as well as spoken word and audience interaction.
“Our creative team thought it would be a fantastic challenge for the company members age 10 and up to not only learn the unique style of precision dance but to also experience creating a one-hour production and travel to (Washington,) D.C. and (New York City) to perform, “said Cutlip, who was a member of The Rockettes from 1993 to 2008.
Family, friends and supporters are welcome to attend the free show at The Kennedy Center, but if travel isn’t possible, the performance will be streamed online at kennedy-center.org/video/live.
As a scholarship program of the nonprofit Project Dance Foundation, young dancers who earn a position with The Carolina Snowbelles through an audition process participate solely on merit. In the same spirit, the troupe is raising funds so that all dancers will be able to take advantage of this honor.
Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Project Dance Foundation, c/o The Carolina Snowbelles, 276-H Watauga Village Drive, Suite 139, Boone, N.C., 28607 and more information can be found at thecarolinasnowbelles.com.
“Precision dance is an entirely different medium of the art form than most young girls experience, requiring incredible teamwork, which can be a challenge for adolescent girls," said Karyn Kennedy Herterich, president of the Kennedy-Herterich Foundation, “One of the most positive impacts of Cheryl’s lessons has been the incredible communication skills— especially with older people — and the development of poise and self-esteem. These traits will prove to be invaluable to their futures.”
After performing, dancers will head to New York City to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and meet a Rockette backstage.
The Carolina Snowbelles rely on the concept of teamwork for success. Precision dance naturally promotes the concept of working together as skills are learned and executed both in rehearsals and performances. Each dancer brings a unique set of capabilities to our troupe, and through reflection and teamwork, we are able to blend the individual strengths into a coherent whole.