Sage Hanlon, a Windsor High School freshman, danced in the Connecticut Concert Ballet’s performance of “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 8-9 at Manchester High School.
Hanlon is a talented and experienced dancer who loves to perform and dance a variety of styles. Her performance in “The Nutcracker” adds one more experience in her extensive ballet repertoire.
Connecticut Concert Ballet allows any of their dancers to perform in “The Nutcracker” if they sign up. However, the studio chooses the role of the dancer based on their skill level. When she first began dancing at Connecticut Concert Ballet and realized they did the performance, she signed up. She has done so every year since.
This year Hanlon had the role of the ballerina doll, a rat, the lead snowflake, rosebud, an Arabian, and a Russian.
A lot of practice had to go in for Hanlon to dance in the performance. For months she had to practice for 45 minutes to two hours every day except for Sunday until the production was performed.
Hanlon is used to practicing a lot though. She has been dancing since she was three-years-old where she began at Angela’s Studio of Dance. She started dancing at Connecticut Concert Ballet four years ago and dances there to this day.
Hanlon began ballet because her parents said she would dance around the house a lot and decided to put her in dance classes. She loved dancing immediately and still feels the same today. Today, Hanlon is well-versed in many different dance styles as she used to do tap and jazz, but mostly does ballet and modern dance now.
Although Hanlon loves ballet, there are some difficulties. Hanlon struggles with time-management all the time when doing ballet as it takes up a lot of time to practice and do performances. Hanlon says, “I struggle with time-management because it [ballet] takes up a huge portion of my time. Then I have to balance it with schoolwork and other activities that I do.”
Hanlon advises aspiring ballerinas to dance only if it is something they enjoy. Hanlon says, “I would say if it makes you happy then you should do it. Even if it is something you do not plan on doing long-term because even though I don’t want to do ballet [long-term], it is something that helps me every day and something I look forward to.”
Hanlon’s personally loves dancing because it is an outlet to display her talent. Hanlon says, “I like to just express myself by doing what I love to do.”
She also believes that dance taught her many life skills. Hanlon says, “It has taught me focus, discipline, and tolerance for a lot of things, that it takes time to do certain things, that you’re not going to be perfect at everything the first time, and that you have to keep trying. I don’t know it just builds character too.”
Hanlon does not plan to be a professional ballerina because she believes the career is too risky and knows she would have to stop performing at a young age. However, she will continue for the rest of her high school career and may continue in college. She wants to continue to dance in her life after that time, but is not sure how at the moment. For now, Hanlon is still practicing and is preparing for Connecticut Concert Ballet’s spring performance from May 18-19.