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Skylar Smith Begins Performance Career in The Nutcracker

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Jocelyn Martinez '19
7 December 2018

It is no surprise that Passaic Valley is a school of students with many unique talents, abilities, and strengths outside of academics. One of these many students is Skylar Smith '22, who will be performing the art of ballet in the well known play, The Nutcracker, from December 21-24 in Morristown.

Smith attends the New Jersey School of Ballet, in Livingston, which presents The Nutcracker yearly in multiple locations around New Jersey, such as Cape May, Millville, and Morristown. The teachers of the dance studio hold auditions for dancers every year to ensure that each dancer gets assigned to the right role for them.

"The audition process in order to play a role in The Nutcracker is that the teachers teach us a dance combination for each specific role in the play, and the roles are chosen depending on how well we perform the combination," explained Smith. This year Smith is performing in the play as both an angel and a young girl in the Morristown leg of the tour.

Skylar's Pointe Shoes; photo credit: Sophia Shkolnikova Smith consistently keeps up with her training and dance techniques during the week along with rehearsing for the play every single Sunday. "I train at the New Jersey School Of Ballet four days a week ranging from one hour time periods to four and a half hour time periods," stated Smith.

Smith began her journey in dance at five years old and has remained dedicated to perfecting her skills. That determination proved to her dance teachers that she was well prepared to execute the complex dance moves incorporated in the play.

Along with her natural talent, Smith displays an enormous amount of passion for the art of dance, which makes auditioning that much easier for her. "Putting on a show and taking people back in time to the time period of The Nutcracker is why I continue to audition and perform every year," said Smith. She finds it rewarding to encourage people to get into the holiday spirit by taking part in an activity that she naturally adores. This feeling is what causes her to return year after year.

Of course, performing at this level on a consistent basis can take its toll emotionally, physically, and mentally. "I feel happy and grateful because I have worked so hard all of my life, but on the flip side I do feel a bit stressed because I have such big shoes to fill," Smith said.

The pressure of performing can be overbearing at times. Yet, taking part in this major production year after year has inspired Smith to a great extent and motivates her to continue in the future. "I definitely plan on getting involved in outside things similar to The Nutcracker in the future," Smith declared.