At age 12, many children are playing absorbed with video games, shopping, or just goofing off being a kid. Rye’s Elisabeth Beyer’s spare time, though, is spent gearing up for her fourth performance as Clara, the lead in the classic holiday performance The Nutcracker with the Greenwich Ballet Academy.
The Rye native practices six days a week for three to five hours a day at the Academy’s Port Chester studio. Her career in dance started at age 3 when her mother, Nan Beyer, signed her up for “mommy and me” ballet classes. The school instantly saw Beyer’s potential, and she was quickly enrolled in lessons.
“Whenever I step on the stage, I get very happy,” Beyer says, sitting down after her private lesson. A self proclaimed lover of “all things princess and pink,” Beyer says she was elated when she was chosen for the role of Clara for the fourth year in a row.
“I love Clara because she’s a really fun character to portray,” she says, and adds on that she thinks that she has a lot in common with the classic Christmas figure. Poised and confident, she says although she does get nervous before taking the stage, she does her best to channel those nerves into her performance. She does so by thinking about how much she loves to dance.
Marisol Thurman, the chairman of the Greenwich Ballet Academy, explained that the school trains all of its dancers (there are over 100 of them currently) for the professional world of dance. She proudly talks about the accomplishments of all of the girls, but explains that Beyer’s performance stands out, having just nabbed second place at the Youth American Grand Prix semifinals in Paris.
“Elisabeth works exceptionally hard at ballet and sacrifices many things, but to her, it’s worth it. Ballet is her true love. I love to watch the inner light that shines when she is dancing,” Nan Beyer says.
Elisabeth will be performing with the rest of her Greenwich Ballet Academy cast in three shows at the White Plains Performing Arts Center on December 5 and 6.