COCA's The Little Dancer

The Little Dancer: Q&A with Ballet Eclectica Student Performers

The Little Dancer, a beloved COCA holiday tradition, returns to the stage, December 8–11, as The Little Dancer: Moments in Time, a reimagined, full-length ballet performed by members of Ballet Eclectica. Renowned choreographer Kevin Jenkins serves as Creative Director and Choreographer for the production.

Ballet Eclectica students share their thoughts on the production below!

As part of the development of this new ballet, Kevin Jenkins met with members of Ballet Eclectica to conceptualize this piece based on student stories. Tell us about that process & how these student stories are told within this work. 

Elsa Cudnik: The students’ stories are told within the dance when a new memory starts. The student’s story is the memory of the Little Dancer, and the students act it out in the ballet. It is inspiring to be in a ballet about my friends’ memories.

Chole Lee: The students have gotten to share their stories that are special to them through the ballet. It was really fun getting to be a part of The Little Dancer, and the choreographers were really good and fun.

What has it been like to work with renowned choreographer Kevin Jenkins and Répétiteur Trisha in rehearsals? 

Izzy Braidwood: It has been amazing! They both have made my dancing so much better. Every day in rehearsals they make dancing fun and bring a smile on my face. Kevin and Trisha have taught me a lot about performing. I am happy to have worked with Kevin and Trisha because they have taught me so much and made rehearsal fun. 

What is your favorite piece within the ballet, and why? 

Zarah Vaughn: My favorite piece is the Elvis piece because of the mood changes and the story it tells.

Isabelle Gerado: My favorite piece in the ballet is probably the dance party. I really enjoy it because there’s some parts of the dance where we can dance however we want with our friends, and it feels genuine. 

What do you hope audiences will take away from seeing The Little Dancer: Moments in Time? 

Noa Dean: Dancers learn how to dance not just from class, but from life experiences as well. It’s how we build our artistry and depth behind our dancing.  

Michelle Jing: Everyone is so unique and their memories are so special. It is important to remember them, and what and who has shaped us into who we are today.