Tavia Harrison is always up for trying something new.
Not too long ago the mother of two decided to take a giant leap outside of her comfort zone — she signed up for ballet classes at a local dance studio.
“A chance encounter led me to Golden Isles Ballet Company, and I took their adult class and loved it,” Harrison said.
She was so into the classes that Harrison even decided to participate in the company’s annual holiday production — The Nutcracker. While the idea of being on stage in front of a packed house was daunting at first, Harrison found performing in the spotlight to be thrilling.
“I was in their Nutcracker production last year, and I’m doing it again this year. It’s never too late to try a new thing or go somewhere you’ve never been,” she said.
That’s the same mentality Bess Chambliss had when she first started dancing. Like Harrison, she too came to the art form as an adult. But it didn’t take long before she was mastering the movements. In fact, she was so passionate about dancing that she opened Golden Isles Ballet Co. a few years back.
And with classes for underprivileged youth as well as the adults, she is offering many in the community a chance to dance, when they otherwise would have never laced up their shoes.
And the annual Nutcracker production is a chance to share all of their hard work with the community. The show will return with performances at 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday at the Brunswick High School auditorium.
“This is the fourth year of the Nutcracker presented by Golden Isles Ballet Company. This year’s production has been a true collaboration with the Hilton Head Dance Theatre, under the direction of Karena Brock-Carlyle and president of the board Lori Finger,” Chambliss said.
“We have collaborated on Choreography, sets, costumes and props. Nearly 70 cast members will perform on Sunday, 18 of those will be company members of the Hilton Head Dance Theatre.”
For Chambliss, it is an opportunity to showcase local students as well as professional dancers for a memorable event. Not only is the ballet one of the classic holiday activities, sure to put everyone in the Christmas spirit — the collaboration itself embodies the sense or cooperation and giving representative of the season.
“We are so grateful for this partnership, and it is a beautiful example of people and communities coming together to promote the arts and create a beautiful cultural experience for families to enjoy this holiday season,” Chambliss said.
This year’s production will include the same festive dances, set designs and music the community has come to expect. It will also offer new faces and elements that Chambliss says will wow the crowd.
“This show is part of many families' holiday tradition, the beautiful music, festive costumes and intricate choreographies make everyone feel festive,” she said.
“It creates a moment to come together, share an experience and emotions with family, friends and community. There will be dancers young and old from 3 years of age to 83 ... local community members, hilton head Dance Theatre Company members and exquisite professional dancers from Chicago, Kara Zimmerman and Lucas Segovia.”
Tickets are currently on sale for the performance. They may be purchased in advance, costing $50 for VIP seats and $20 for general admission. Student tickets are $15. Tickets will be $25 at the door the day of the performance. They are available at the Ritz, Uncle Dons or Online goldenislesballet.org.