A dream come true: 5 questions with ballerina Annelise Lugo

Jessica Fuller • Dec 4, 2018 at 8:38 AM


For many, “The Nutcracker” is a staple once the holiday season rolls around. 

Elizabethton-based dance school East Tennessee Ballet Academy is partnering with the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra and the Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy for a live performance of the ballet, which first premiered in Russia in 1892. 

Artistic Director Cindy Bernshausen said audiences should be on their toes for some changes to the 200-year-old story of a nutcracker came to life, and the main character, 10-year-old Annelise Lugo, is at the center of it all. 


                                                  Fast Facts 
Name, age, school: Annelise Lugo, 10, homeschooled
How long you’ve been dancing:  2 years
Favorite character in “The Nutcracker”:  Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, Drasselmeyer 
What types of dance are you trained in? Ballet 
Favorite kind of pie:  Apple pie 



Q. How did you get into dancing?

A: I’ve always wanted to be a ballet dancer. When I was 3, I would dance around my house to “The Nutcracker” in a pink, frilly dress. I dreamed about being Clara, and now here I am! 

Q. What is the most challenging part of dancing Clara? 

A: The most challenging part about playing Clara is trusting the rats not to drop me when they carry me around! Also making the role seem like I am Clara, and not that I am somebody pretending to be Clara. 

Q. What’s your favorite part about the role? 

A:I like making everything seem natural and real.

Q. What’s your dream role and why?

A:  One of my dream ballet roles is the part of Kitra in Don Quixote, because she is so lively and adventurous. 

Q. What do you like about dancing? 

A: One of my favorite parts in ballet is letting the music flow through me. 

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