Elizabeth Williams School of Dance prepares for “The Nutcracker”

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It may only be October but Elizabeth Williams School of Dance has been working on their December ballet performance of “The Nutcracker” since late August.

For the past 25 years, Elizabeth Williams School of Dance located in Williamston, has been educating and instructing on the art of ballet. Five years ago, the school became a nonprofit ballet company.  

“We had a ballet school, then we decided to create a nonprofit company so we can perform and be eligible for grants,” said owner and artistic director Elizabeth Williams, also known as Miss Liz.

The dance school puts on recitals every June but the company does classical performances throughout the year. This is the first year the company has decided to perform “The Nutcracker” yearly.

“The offering of a full length ballet, not only with ‘The Nutcracker’, but also many other performances, it’s just something you don’t see very often from studios,” said Mellissa Tort.

Tort not only sends her children to Miss Liz’s studio but also is her assistant and the stage director.

Williams explains her studio teaches students, ages 3 to adult, not only the proper physical technique but also the language and history of ballet.  

“I teach real, classical ballet. I use the language,” said Williams. “I’m kind of old fashioned. I don’t allow anybody to teach my classes unless I know they are really well-trained in what I need. Even a substitute I am picky about.”

The Goluska family realized Williams’ expertise of ballet when searching for a dance studio for their daughter. They told Miss Liz their daughter had a learning issue and she responded, “you don’t have to worry about her talking because we speak with our bodies.”

Now, not only does their daughter takes lessons but both parents and their three sons.

“We like as a family we can do this together,” said mother Kay Goluska. “It’s really very cool to be on stage with your children and experience it in a different way instead of being in the audience.”

Tort explains how emotion can be conveyed through dance and is adaptable to what’s going on in a dancer’s life. Tort said not only dance, but the arts, introduce people to something they may not have experienced before.

Williams is a big advocate for the arts.

“A lot of people recently are saying, ‘oh we don’t need the arts’, but we do. ‘The Nutcracker’ is a really good example of why we do,” said Williams. “You get music, you get dance, you get costumes and acting. All of a sudden everyone has something good to say about it. This is a good thing that’s happening.”

Elizabeth Williams encourages everyone to support the arts and attend one of “The Nutcracker” performances.

“It’s a holiday tradition and you don’t have to be a big fan of the arts. It’s more of a celebration of the holiday spirit,” said Williams. “I love to see grandmas walk in with their granddaughters all dressed up. I love to see young men come with their girlfriends and notice my guys are jumping all over the place.”

Tickets will be on sale in two weeks and can be purchased at a discounted price in the studio, located on 128 West Grand River Avenue, or at the door on Dec. 8 and 9 for full price. The performance will be held at Williamston High School’s performing center.