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JosieDiannaTour   The classical ballet, "The Nutcracker" is coming to a theater near you, and features a teenager from New Baden.
   Josephine “Josie” Detmer, 14, an eighth grader at Wesclin Middle School in Trenton, will be featured in the annual Nutcracker Ballet, performed by the dance company Turning Pointe Academy of Dance, of Maryville. 
   "The Nutcracker" will be performed Dec. 17 and 18 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Dunham Hall Theater.
   Josie has several roles in the ballet — a party girl, a soldier, a Chinese dancer and Clara’s departure.
   If you haven’t heard or seen "The Nutcracker" before, now is your chance. It is loosely based on the story, “The Nutcracker and the King of Mice,” written by E.T.A. Hoffman. The story is of a young German girl, named Clara, who dreams of a Nutcracker prince. She is gifted a Nutcracker, however, she dreams of the Nutcracker that gets into a fierce battle against the Mouse King.
IMG2436   Josie dances at Turning Pointe Academy of Dance, where she has been dancing since 2018. 
   She was three years old when she began dancing with the now-closed Jane Mannion School Of Dance in Highland. She does a range of dancing — anywhere from ballet and intermediate pointe, to tap, modern and jazz. She dances, on average, 12 hours per week, all while keeping straight A's and is in the Honor Society at her school.
   Josie is not necessarily new to the stage. This is her fourth year dancing in the Nutcracker. She also has done numerous dance recitals over the years. She even participated in the middle school musical “Moana” last year.  She is also a member of the middle school chorus and is a Girl Scout Cadette, working on earning her Silver Award as well. 
   Josie has plans to be a psychologist in the future, helping children with anxiety and depression.
   Josie auditioned for the Nutcracker earlier this year, in April. Rehearsals began in August. The ballet features a cast of over 40 students.
   “Being in the Nutcracker isn’t just like doing a regular dance and having a recital,” Josie said. “Being in the Nutcracker takes twice the amount of time and effort to get through the show. Sometimes there are incidents where someone slips on stage and hurts themselves. These things can be very stressful and it is not as easy as it looks to be on stage. Especially with the bright lights shining in your eyes.”
   Josie's dance teacher, Dianna Andrews Gaither, remembers Josie's first audition, years ago.
   "I could tell from the start what a hardworking dancer she was and I knew she would perform beautifully in our production," said Andrews Gaither. "She has grown over the years and performed in various rolls. I am so thankful Josie is part of our cast." 
   The Nutcracker ballet is filled with “tradition as well as a contemporary twist of fun and excitement! Sit back and enjoy Clara’s holiday party and mystical journey to the Land of the Sweets.”
   There are three performances of the Nutcracker at SIUE Dunham Hall (50 Hairpin Drive, Edwardsville). 
   Two shows on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m. 

   Tickets are on sale now. Tickets for adults are $18 and for children (12 and under) $15. You can purchase tickets to see the show at www.etix.com/ticket/o/9315/Turningpointeacademy.