Up & Coming Weekly

November 30, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 13 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 1-7, 2021 UCW 13 for military and $10 kids ages 3-16. Kids under 2 are free. Across town, in the top por- tion of Countryside Gymnastics is Leslie's Dance Academy. Leslie Dumas, owner and executive di- rector, sits among plastic storage containers of all shapes and sizes that house different costumes and props for her production of "e Nutcracker." She sits, waiting on dancers to arrive. Her danc- ers, too, are preparing to go on stage and perform "e Nut- cracker." Dumas has been running this version of "e Nutcracker" since 2000 when she took it over from Ann Clark, who owned another studio in town. Both Clark and Dumas trained with Charlotte Blume. Dumas trained with Char- lotte Blume from a young age until 18. For "e Nutcracker," she col- laborates with other studios in town, through e Dance eatre of Fayetteville, to bring all their dancers together to perform the play. Last year, much like Char- lotte Blume School of Dance, her company didn't perform "e Nutcracker." is year, Dumas wasn't told they could have their traditional stage at Methodist University until the end of September. is gave Dumas and the other studios two months to prepare the show. She said this year they've had to make some changes in how they traditionally run it due to all the changes from COVID-19. "We didn't do an audition. I usually do most of the choreog- raphy, but I let other studios pick what they want to choreograph." On Nov. 21, the collective group had their second full group rehearsal, just a week and a half before the performance. For Du- mas and others, this is about the collective and anyone who wants to be a part of the play can "come in." "It's supposed to be fun." Du- mas relates the overall experience to the fun and chaos of the party scene at the beginning of the play. As she talks, young dancers arrive and come to greet her. She smiles, asks about something personal to each and then they run off to get into dance clothes. Dumas is set on getting the show to stage and bringing the dancers together. "It's going to be what it is after a COVID year of nothing," Dumas says. "Everyone has to under- stand that perspective. e world stopped in March of last year. ere was no dance, no gym, no nothing." e Dance eatre of Fayetteville will perform the Nut- cracker December 3-5 at Meth- odist's University's Huff Concert Hall. Tickets will be $10 in ad- vance and $15 at the door. Kids ages 5-17 will be $5 and kids ages 4 and under will be free. COVER STORY e Dance eater of Fayetteville students rehearse for an upcoming performance of "e Nutcracker." (Photo by Kathleen Ramsey) e Dance eater of Fayetteville students rehearse for an upcoming per- formance of "e Nutcracker." (Photo by Kathleen Ramsey) Dancers from the Charlotte Blume School of Dance pose for promotional photos for a performance of "e Nutcracker." (Photo courtesy of Char- lotte Blume School of Dance) KATHLEEN RAMSEY, Contributing Writer. COMMENTS? editor@upand- comingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Dancers rehearse at the Charlotte Blume School of Dance studio for an upcoming performance of "e Nutcracker." (Photo by Kathleen Ramsey)

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