Madeline (12) and Tate (11) Ryner are sister and brother who dance at Littleton Dance Academy and will play Clara and Fritz in this year’s Nutcracker.
Madeline (12) and Tate (11) Ryner are sister and brother who dance at Littleton Dance Academy and will play Clara and Fritz in this year’s Nutcracker. Clara is the main character in the show, and her family has a Christmas party. When Clara receives a Nutcracker doll as a special present, her pesky little brother Fritz snatches the doll and breaks it.
Madeline said, “It’s fun to act like brother and sister in the performance and see how Tate learns new ballet steps.” They both agree that they can easily act and relate to their roles. Tate has even broken something of Madeline’s, a dried flower that held special memories.
Besides performing onstage, the siblings spend hours in class at the studio together. Tate actually started first with breakdancing about four years ago. Then, a year later he was inspired by a Colorado Ballet performance, and together he and Madeline started ballet classes. Tate’s advice for boys interested in ballet is, “Work hard and don’t get discouraged if you’re the only boy, because you might get special treatment.” He said that he has gotten teased by other boys before but ignored them.
Dancer Alyssa Palazzo also gets to play Clara and be Tate’s sister for two of the four upcoming performances. Since Alyssa doesn’t have a younger brother, you might think it’s hard to pretend onstage. “Actually it’s kind of easy because I know him really well, and he’s like a brother to me,” she said.
For more information on Littleton Dance Academy’s Dec. 7 and 8 Nutcracker performances go to www.littletonyouthballet.org. There are 135 students and professionals who will dance at the Theater at Colorado Heights University. “People should come because it’s so professional and well done,” said Alyssa. “Everyone pours their heart into it, and it will make everyone’s day.”