For a young ballet dancer, it doesn’t get much better than opening your Nutcracker casting letter to find out that you’ve received the role of Clara. This year, San José Dance Theatre presented this news to Twilight Lin and Natalie Ramskov. Receiving the coveted role of “Clara” is their first opportunity as a dancer to carry the narrative of a ballet. Twilight and Natalie have their own unique style and path that has led them to this role. Both dancers share their story of dedication and success in their spotlight profiles.
Introducing, Twilight Grace Lin, a 6th grader at Waldorf School of the Penninsula.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS DREAMED OF BEING CLARA, AND WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO HAVE THIS ESTEEMED ROLE? WHAT ASPECTS OF THE ROLE ARE DEMANDING ON YOU?
I have always wanted to be Clara and I feel honored to have this role. I hope this is the start to many important roles in my future. Every Clara has to step up to their role; Miss Linda sees our potential, and helps us to dance to our best ability.
HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU TOOK YOUR FIRST BALLET CLASS? DID YOU IMMEDIATELY FEEL PASSIONATE ABOUT IT?
I was 5 ½ when I took my first ballet class. I don’t remember if I loved it at first, but I know now that this is what I want to do with most of my life, along with a bit of acting.
WALK US THROUGH A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR LIFE?
I wake up at 6:30 every day and after I eat breakfast I meet my carpool to go to school. I am usually super-hyper every day! After school, which ends at 3:15, I head to the ballet studio. After classes, I eat dinner and do my homework until around 9:30, then I go to bed.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR ASPIRATIONS FOR THE FUTURE, DOES BALLET HAVE A ROLE?
Yes, I would love to continue dancing. I also have dreamed of being an actress, a film director and a play screenwriter.
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT BALLERINAS?
People don’t take us very seriously; they think ballet is easy when it is, in my opinion, one of the hardest and most dynamic sports there is!
IN WHAT WAYS IS YOUR CHILDHOOD DIFFERENT FROM YOUR NON-BALLET FRIENDS?
My life is super awesome and crazy, and I’m almost never bored. If I’m not focused on something, I’m usually laughing or making a joke. If I didn’t dance so much, I would probably drive my mom crazy with all of my energy!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?
I love The False Prince series by Jennifer A. Nielsen, and of course the Harry Potter series.
YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT?
I really like Chipotle, Jamba Juice, and Smash Burger.
The Nutcracker is an enchanting ballet in which young Clara Stahlbaum’s favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, comes alive and, after defeating the evil Mouse King in battle, whisks her away to a magical, Candy Kingdom.
Tickets for the performance range in price from $38-$68 and may be purchased online at sjnutcracker.com. With San José Dance Theatre’s commitment to making the arts more accessible to all in the community, half price tickets are available for both Friday night performances and group pricing is available for all other performances. Tickets are also available through the City National Box Office, 135 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA 95113 or by phone at (408) 792-4111, Monday-Friday 10am-5pm.
About San José Dance Theatre
For more than 60 years, San José Dance Theatre has trained beginning through advanced dancers for a lifetime of participation in and appreciation of the art of classical ballet. Originally founded in 1954 as Paul E. Curtis Jr.’s Los Gatos Academy of Dance and West Valley Foundation, San José Dance Theatre is the resident ballet company of the Center for the Performing Arts in downtown San Jose and was voted Best Dance Company in Silicon Valley by the Metro. San José Dance Theatre’s vision is to inspire dancers of all ages in the exploration of the art of dance, to foster growth through high-level training and mentoring experiences by professional dancers and instructors, and to promote the art of dance through creative public awareness campaigns.