La Grange seventh-grader practices for lead in ‘The Nutcracker’
Giselle Dimailig of La Grange is dancing as Clara in "The Nutcracker" for Ballet Legere. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 16, 2012 6:13AM
LA GRANGE — Giselle Dimailig, 12, has visions of sugar plums dancing in her head as she prepares for her role as Clara in “The Nutcracker.” The seventh-grader at St. Francis Xavier School in La Grange spends her weekends rehearsing for Ballet Legere’s upcoming production Dec. 13-16 at Dominican University in River Forest.
Q. How are you preparing for the role in the production featuring students, as well as professionals for the principal roles?
A. In the beginning, it was hard memorizing all the steps, but now that I’ve been practicing a lot, every Saturday and Sunday, it’s going smoother. I just keep practicing to do it as perfectly as I can.
Q. What sparked your interest in ballet?
A. I started dancing when I was 2. I would watch “Angelina Ballerina,” a cartoon about a mouse who talks and dances, and I asked my mom to sign me up for lessons.
Q. Where have you studied?
A. I started at Impact Dance Studio in La Grange, the Salt Creek School of Ballet in Westmont and Jo’s Footwork Studio in Western Springs.
Q. What do you like about dancing?
I love ballet. It’s very graceful, and it relaxes you a lot. The music is very flowing, and all the moves are very smooth. When I dance, it makes me feel good.
Q. What was the switch like to dance en pointe?
A. When I was little and saw professional dancers with pointe shoes, I thought they were beautiful, so I was excited to get mine. You have to build up strength for pointe shoes so you don’t get hurt. You have to do a lot of balance exercises first. After a while, you get used to it and it doesn’t hurt so much as it looks like it would.
Q. Who inspires you?
A. Elizabeth Gumz is a professional who is dancing with us in “The Nutcracker,” and she has given me tips. She is a lawyer and a dancer and has shown that you can do both, which is important to me because I want to be a doctor. She is beautiful and strong, just an amazing dancer.
Q. What are your future plans?
A. My favorite classes are science and math. I always love helping people, and I’d like to become a doctor helping people stay healthy. My grandpa is a doctor, and he’s always showing me different articles.
Who are your family members?
My mom in Ana and my dad is Ferdinand. I have a brother, Greigory, 14, and my sister, Bianca, 9, also dances. We’ll be in two numbers together in “The Nutcracker.”
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