Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

December 6, 2012

'Nutcracker' on stage this weekend at Niagara Falls High School


Night & Day — Traver, who once danced for Feder in “The Nutcracker,” has been teaching students show choreography for 15 years. In 2010, her daughter, Lily, was cast as Clara. Watching those performances was, “A little nerve-wracking,” Traver said, laughing. “Just knowing the ballet so well – knowing that they have so much on their shoulders – I think I was more nervous than her. But she did a fabulous job, and it meant the world to me. It was wonderful.”

Lily, now 11, often works with Olivia Duke, 12 (also Clara in 2010), and Victoria Wagner, 13 (Clara in 2011), in coaching the younger dancers.

“I knew all the other Claras really (well), because I had been with them since I was little,” Lily said. “It was really fun for me because they were always there and they helped me a lot. That was really nice.”

“You kind of have to be able to learn from the other people – other than the teachers – which is kind of hard sometimes,” she said. “We’ll watch them a lot, the other Claras, and we’ll give them corrections just like anyone else would.”

Tatum said the other Claras “gave me advice on how I should dance and how I should do my emotion – when I’m angry or when I’m sad. They’re helpful.

“I’m sure that at the performance it’s going to be very exciting.”

Soon after “The Nutcracker” wraps, Tatum and Sophia will take their place alongside the other Claras in working with the next generation of performers. They’ll officially be “big girls” helping “little girls” achieve their goals.

“I think when you’re little, when you’re dancing here, all you want to do is be Clara,” Gruarin said. “It’s definitely a dream.”

Joshua Maloni is the GNBC publicist.

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