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Spokane ballerinas work with famed Russian ballet company for 'Nutcracker'

Fifty-one of their dancers are working with the Moscow Ballet to accompany them in the Great Russian Nutcracker Ballet.

SPOKANE, Wash. —

A passion to pursue perfection. Some Spokane ballerinas give 110 percent to their craft as they prepare for a performance.

Tucked into downtown Spokane, Ballet Arts Academy trains the next generation of dancers to mind every moment and minute detail.

Fifty-one of their dancers are working with the Moscow Ballet to accompany them in the Great Russian Nutcracker Ballet.

It's an art and a science. Ballet dancers make it the choreography look easy, but every muscle movement is accounted for.

15-year-old Marlena Mizzoni has been dancing for 10 and a half years.

“Most moves that look very simple actually have a lot of components that you need to work on. So, its pretty complex that way,” she said.

First position is one of the basic building blocks of their work and there are dozens of details to pay attention to when creating this position.

“Starting with your feet, you don’t want to pronate your feet which is roll them in this way. But you also don’t want to roll them out, and she’ll get off balance if she does it, especially in point shoes,” said Mizzoni.

BAA has a picture on their wall with notes about every part of the body that engages to form the pose.

“There’s a lot of things you have to think about when you’re doing something in ballet. But for me, I have to focus on one thing for it too work and then after you conquer that you move on to the next thing, and you have to conquer that as well and it just keeps going,” said dancer Jennifer Swisher.

To achieve that perfect pirouette, these ladies dedicate years.

“We have technique ballet classes pretty much every day of the week except for Sundays. And on top of that, we have rehearsals like, in the evenings after our technique class, and one Saturdays, we get here at 9:30 a.m. and rehearse most of the day," said Laura Hart, another dancer with the company.

All this is leading up to the stage. At the First Interstate Center for the Arts on Tuesday at 8 p.m., these ladies will showcase their skills alongside professional Russian dancers.

Moscow Ballet takes their Nutcracker performance on a North American tour every year, enlisting local dancers to play supporting roles.

There about 50 dancers from Ballet Arts Academy performing.

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