Pacific Northwest Ballet School student Ashleigh Steedman rehearses her role of Small Servant for the
Sendak & Stowell Nutcracker. PNB presents Nutcracker December 7 – 29, 2012.
Dr. Scott Steedman’s name is well known in Lake Stevens but his nine-year-old daughter Ashleigh is making a name for herself on the stage at McCaw Hall these days.
Ashleigh has been performing in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s annual Christmas show The Nutcracker where she performs the part of a Small Servant in 16 of the ballet’s performances.
“I am excited that I was selected to be a small servant in the Nutcracker. I was surprised that I was selected to be in the cast this year,” Ashleigh said. “I was the last out of 115 in my section of ballet students who tried out. There were so many people who tried out so I wasn’t sure that I would even be seriously considered.”
Ashleigh has been taking ballet for the past five years. She auditioned for Nutcracker last year but didn’t make it, making this year’s acceptance even sweeter.
“She tried out last year but was turned down and it broke her heart. But it made it so much more special this year,” Ashleigh’s mom Jeanie said. “I’m actually glad she was turned down the first go round because it gave her something she really had to work hard for.”
The costumes are Ashleigh’s favorite part of the ballet.
“She absolutely loves the costumes,” Jeanie said. “The props and the costumes are magical. The whole performance is transforming!”
For Ashleigh the whole experience is magical and she looks forward to participating in the future.
“I have met so many amazing people in the Nutcracker. There is a lot of hard work that goes into making every performance special. There are so many details from the live orchestra to the props,” she said. “They keep the temperature on the stage warm so we don’t get hurt while we are dancing. I feel very lucky to be a part of the cast. I hope one day I will be selected to play the role of Clara!”
Jeanie and Ashleigh have been traveling to and from rehearsals for the past four weeks and she will be performing through the month of December. All that travel time makes for great memories.
“It’s a big investment but the way I see it benefiting us is it is an opportunity for us to bond. I am thoroughly enjoying this one-on-one time with her,” Jeanie said.
Horseback riding and ballet are two of Ashleigh’s favorite hobbies and she would love to be able to combine the two at some point.
“She would love to get into bolting where you do ballet on the back of a horse,” Jeanie said. “She loves ballet, she truly does but ultimately she wants to be a dentist like her father.”
If you would like to purchase tickets for PNB’s Nutcracker visit www.pnb.org.