Two Claras

. November 28, 2012.


Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with two highly talented young women that are thrilled to be dancing the coveted role of Clara in Toledo Ballet’s 2012 Nutcracker. These credible young women are geared up and ready to hit the stage. Samantha Jacobs, a freshman at Notre Dame Academy and Charlotte Thurston, a freshman attending Ottawa Hills High School, are honored to carry the lead role in a ballet that has been part of Toledo’s history for 72 years.

The only leaping I do is over the pile of laundry in my teen’s room, and my to-do list is still a work in process. These young dancers (and honor students) gracefully soar through a schedule of company dance and performance rehearsals, and weekly technique classes. Samantha is also on NDA’s dive and dance team and Charlotte is a cheerleader for Ottawa Hills. “You learn to manage your time well,” explains Samantha. "If we get a half hour break, we do homework.” The dedicated ladies believe the hours of rigorous training are worth their efforts as they strive to perfect their mind, body and spirit. What a far cry from my “downtime” that consists of raiding the pantry and finding the remote.

Samantha and Charlotte believe that it is every young dancer’s dream to play Clara. “We love being role models for the younger girls. They see us and know that one day it could be them,” Samantha says. “It’s great that we get to share our love of dance and have the role of Clara together,” states Charlotte. Samantha and Charlotte, who have been dancing together for the past five years, know their dancing and their friendship will continue to grow in the future. I know they will dance into your hearts as they did mine.

The 72nd annual Nutcracker will be held at the Stranahan Theater on Saturday, December 15 at 2pm and 7pm and on Sunday, December 16 at 2pm. Tickets range from $21 to $51 and are
available by calling 419-381-8851 or by visiting