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L-S Students to Dance in “The Nutcracker”
Senior Elizabeth Stahovich Cast in Lead Role of Clara

Stahovich Fasano Nutcracker 2

L-S High School students Elizabeth Stahovich and Gianna Fasano will dance alongside professional dancers from the U.S., Japan, and Ukraine in performances of “The Nutcracker.” After a year off, the classic holiday ballet returns to Lancaster with performances December 3, 4, and 5, at Lancaster Mennonite High School.

Elizabeth, a senior, will perform the lead role of Clara in the Friday and Saturday evening performances. She will also be dancing en pointe in the snow scene and the waltz scene. This will be Elizabeth’s 13th year dancing in The Nutcracker.

"It has been fulfilling to work my way up through the parts in The Nutcracker and grow as a dancer and person along the way," Elizabeth said in an email. "At the age of five, I danced my first part, an angel, and am now preparing to be the lead role of Clara at the age of 18. Although I was sad the performances were canceled last year because of COVID, I now appreciate the opportunity to dance in The Nutcracker more than ever."

At school, Elizabeth is the vice president of the Student Council, the president of the STEM Club, and a member of the L-S High School National Honor Society, Asian Cultures Club, and Spanish Club. She also volunteers at Lancaster Science Factory and works part-time at Gap Factory.

Gianna, a freshman, will join Elizabeth en pointe in the snow scene and the waltz scene. She’s also dancing in the Russian scene and is the African Doll and Harlequin Doll understudy. This will be Gianna’s eighth year dancing in the Nutcracker.

"Dancing at Viktor’s studio has influenced who I am as a person and how deeply I appreciate dance, music, acting, and the arts," Gianna said by email. "He is such a big inspiration to me and encourages me to become a better dancer and person. Viktor’s dedication to ballet allowed him to open a dance school in America bringing many possibilities to young dancers like me. If I had never danced in The Nutcracker at his ballet school, I would not be where I am today. I have been exposed to many different people, cultures and built many lifelong friendships from dancing in The Nutcracker."

At school, Gianna plays the flute in the band and is a member of the Pioneer Interact Club. She's also an avid art student.

Both dancers are students at the Viktor Yeliohin International Ballet Academy in Lancaster, which has been putting on performances of “The Nutcracker” for nearly three decades.

Photo: Dancers Elizabeth Stahovich (left) and Gianna Fasano (right) practice for "The Nutcracker"

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