While both girls are excited about being a part of "The Nutcracker," both admit to having nerves when performing before a large audience.
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"But all of the dancers are best friends," Emily said. "So, being together, we're able to calm each other down."
This weekend, the girls also will have the support of family and friends who will be attending the performances.
"We've got about 50 people — teachers of Emily's, friends from the Washington, D.C., area, godmothers, family members — who will be in the audience," Cori said. "They'll have a very big cheering section."
Both girls said they hope that the world of dance will always be a part of their lives.
When Emily heads off the college next year, she said that she'll continue to pursue dance — maybe not as a major. But I won't stop dancing. I would certainly enjoy teaching ballet. That's something I've thought about in the past."
Phoebe's goal, she said, is to have a career as a modern dancer.
"I really like modern dance," she said. "I'm able to be creative."
According to artistic director Danielle Horochowski, almost 100 dancers from City Ballet, other schools, as well as acting adults will be involved in this year's "Nutcracker."
While the company presents other celebrated classics and contemporary work in the spring, "we always present 'The Nutcracker' for the Christmas season," Horochowski said. "It's a tradition and it's something that the public looks forward to attending as part of their holiday celebration."
"It also builds an audience for ballet," she noted. "Many dancers, including me, will cite 'The Nutcracker' as one of their first encounters with ballet. We might all come from different backgrounds but 'The Nutcracker' holds a special significance to all of us. It carries many sentimental memories."
If you go ...
What: "The Nutcracker" presented by the Western Maryland City Ballet Company
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9
Where: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown
Cost: Tickets cost $23 to $60 and are available by contacting The Maryland Theatre Box Office at 301-790-3500 Monday through Friday or at www.mdtheatre.org