Thank you to everyone that attended this years performances of The Nutcracker. A special thanks goes out to the great staff and stage crew at Santa Catalina School, along with our amazing volunteers. All of you helped create a wonderful experience for both our performers and audience.
We will see you in 2019!
Meet The Cast
“Clara” - Molly Flanagan
Molly Flanagan. Molly is 14 and is a freshman at Salinas High School. She started dancing in “mommy and me” at the age of two and has been dancing for 12 years. Molly has been a member of our competition dance troupe for the past five years. She is currently in our Ballet Troupe 1. Molly has been one of our competition soloists for four years and has been able to perform in three of our shows that were performed at the Disneyland Resort. Molly loves to dance because it’s a way she can express herself and it’s where she can set goals and work to achieve them.
Besides dancing Molly loves horseback riding. She is also quite an artist and loves fashion. She hopes to someday go into fashion design and attend the San Francisco Art Institute.
“The Sugar Plum Fairy” - Camila Espinoza
Camila is currently a student at Hartnell College and has been dancing for 13 years. Camila has been a member of our Dance Troupe for eight years. She is currently a member of our Senior 2 and Ballet 2 Troupes along with being one of our competition soloists. Camila was also accepted into the San Jose Ballet Intensive for their summer program when she was a sophomore in high school. Camila has said, “I love to dance because it’s an outlet to share your thoughts and emotions without having to say a word.”
Camila is also one of the lead teachers for Jeanne Robinson Dance Arts and loves to work with the young dancers. Her love of children has also made her a favorite babysitter for many families and she has plans to work with children in her future. Camila is planning on going through the Early Childhood Development program to become a preschool teacher.
During the Kingdom of Sweets number Camila will be using the famous choreography of the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” by Marius Petipa from 1892. This original choreography has been preserved and passed down through generations of Ballet Masters. We are very fortunate that Miss Jeanne herself was taught the original Petipa choreography and has passed it down to her ballerinas over the years.
“The Nutcracker Prince” - Jessica Quijada
Jessica is 13 and in the 8th grade. She attends Monterey County Home Charter School. Jessica has been dancing for 8 years and has been a member of our Dance Troupe the past two years. She is currently in our Ballet 1 Troupe and will be competing with her first solo this next spring. Jessica performed with her troupe in their “Red Carpet Dreams” show at the Disneyland Resort last year. When Jessica is not dancing she loves sewing and playing with her dogs. Jessica is a huge animal lover and also loves make up and online shopping.
When asked why she dances, Jessica said she loves to dance because it makes her happy and it is fun. She loves that it is physically and mentally challenging, and that she can express her feelings. Dance is also where she gets to come and be with her closest friends.
When Jessica grows up she is interested in pursuing the arts or psychology.
“Dr. Drosselmeyer” - John Goodrich
John has been playing the part of Dr. Drosselmeyer since 1992 and has 25 years of Nutcracker performances. He was Monterey County Ballet’s original Dr. Drosselmeyer and he helped create this version of the role in 2007. John’s experience in theater arts and dance include an MB, BA, MA and MBA in theater arts. He has taught locally at MPC and Hartnell as well as SJSU and Santa Clara University.
John started his journey into the arts at age 24 as an actor and singer and began his dance career in his 30’s. He has performed locally with Ariel and Western Stage in several productions. John also created the dance group “The Antique Moving Company” which performed for over ten years along with co director Megan Morris.
Along with his career in performing arts, John has also been a business owner for over 25 years in circuit board design. John has raised three daughters, one who has shared the stage with him as the role of Clara. John is also a new Grandpa this year to his first grandbaby!
“The Rat King” - Joey Parga
Joey is 15 and a sophomore at Compass Charter School. He has been dancing with us on and off since he was little and has been intensely studying for the past six years. Joey has also been a member of our Dance Troupe for three years and excels in both ballet and hip hop, along with being one of our completion soloists. When asked why he likes to dance Joey said he, “..dances because it’s fun and interesting to figure out how your body works.”
Along with dance Joey also enjoys being active in several sports including football, baseball, water polo, soccer, bike riding and golf. He says that golf is his favorite and enjoys golfing with his Grandfather. Golfing runs in the family as his Great Grandpa was a golf pro at Pebble Beach. Besides all of the sports he is also active with the Boy Scouts and Ariel Theater, where he has acted for the past five years. If that wasn’t enough Joey is also in the Explorers program with the Salinas PD. His future plans contain a possible degree in Criminal Justice and becoming an FBI Agent in the field. Joey says that acting is a good skill to have as an agent if you are a part of a team and working undercover.
“The Snow Queen” - Olivia Yoder
Olivia is 16 and a junior at Notre Dame High School. She has been dancing for ten years and has spent the last seven years in our Dance Troupe. Olivia is currently in our Senior 2 troupe and has been one of our soloist competition dancers for several years. When asked why she loves to dance she said, “I love dancing because it gives me the opportunity to portray different characters and emotions all through finding different ways of movement. I also love how nothing in dance can ever be perfect, and you can always work to be that little bit better. It’s a wonderful challenge!”
As well as being a talented dancer Olivia also enjoys cooking, baking, and painting with her sister, Katie. She also loves to read and spend time with her family, friends, and pets. Olivia is interested in biological science and would like to become a genetic counselor. She looks forward to conducting research and communicating the results to an interested audience. She is currently interested in the University of Washington to pursue a degree in biology.
“The Rose Queen” - Kaylie Kuramura
Kaylie is 16 and a junior at Salinas High School. She has been dancing for 13 years and spent the past eight years in our Dance Troupe. Kaylie is a member of our Senior 2 and Ballet 2 troupes and one of our award winning soloists. She says that she loves dancing because it allows her to express herself without words, and it is a way of escaping life as her form of therapy. Kaylie has also started to choreograph her own competition solos and is becoming a very creative artist. As well as excelling in dance she is also is becoming quite an accomplished painter.
Kaylie also has a huge love of animals and wants to dedicate a career to animal conservation. Her greatest inspiration is Steve Irwin. Kaylie is interested in attending Western University College of Veterinary Medicine or possibly UC Davis.
“The Pixie Queen” - Kayley Flanagan
Kayley is 17 and a senior at El Puente High School. She has been dancing for 15 years and has been a member of our Dance Troupe for 9 years. Kayley is currently a member of our Ballet 2 troupe and one of our solo competitors. Kayley loves to dance because she loves to become someone else in the role that she plays. She also loves that she can express her feelings without words. Her friends and teachers in dance have become a second family to her.
Besides dancing, Kayley also loves to sing, act and play the ukulele. Along with her passion for the arts, she also has a passion for animals and loves cats. (You can even catch her as the family cat in the opening scene.) Kayley’s love of animals has given her the patience to train her own cats. She also loves to volunteer at the SPCA with their summer camp programs. She enjoys being a counselor to the kids and teaching them how to handle and care for the animals there.
Kayley wants to pursue a career in animal behavior be an advocate for animals in the entertainment industry. She would like to be a handler and trainer for animal actors. She would like to attend San Diego State University to receive her BS in Zoology and receive her EATM certification (Exotic Animal Training and Management) from Moorpark College.
“Fritz” - Riley Yates
Riley is 13 and in the 8th grade at Santa Catalina School. She has been dancing for ten years and has spent the past four years as a member of our Dance Troupe. Riley is not only a part of our competition ballet troupe, she is also a very talented tapper and a member of our Tap Troupe 3. She is also one of our competition soloists and was awarded a “Showmanship Award” for her solo last year.
Riley said that she loves to dance because she loves to perform and have a creative outlet. She also likes the discipline that dance brings. As well as being a talented dancer, Riley also loves musical theater. She is a born organizer and also volunteers with the SPCA.
Riley would like to become a teacher someday. She is interested in attending Wesleyan University in Connecticut because it has some notable alumni and she loves the East Coast.