Photographic images by Ken Ketchie for Carolina Snowbelles
Local precision dance troupe The Carolina Snowbelles is headed to the nation’s capital to debut their newly conceived holiday show entitled “A Carolina Snowbelle Christmas” on December 15 at 6 p.m on the prestigious Millennium Stage at Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Carolina Snowbelles Precision Dance Company, directed by Cheryl Cutlip along with the Western Carolina Youth Ballet Company, directed by Brad Parquette, will perform in the one-hour production.
The 28-member dance troupe has been rehearsing this one-hour show since August – their most ambitious and comprehensive performance to date. A Carolina Snowbelle Christmas will feature precision tap and jazz, vocal performance, and ballet, as well as spoken word and audience interaction. Throughout the performance, audience members will experience the Snowbelles’ impressive precision dance and spectacular costuming.
“Our creative team thought it would be a fantastic challenge for the company members age 10 and up to not only learn the unique style of precision dance but to also experience creating a 1-hour production and travel to DC and NYC to perform, “said Cheryl Cutlip, Rockette alumnus and director of The Carolina Snowbelles.
Precision dance is an entirely different medium of the art form than most young girls experience.
Family, friends, and supporters are welcome to attend the free show at The Kennedy Center, but if travel isn’t possible, the performance will be streamed online at kennedy-center.org/video/live.
As a scholarship program of the nonprofit Project Dance Foundation, young dancers who earn a position with The Carolina Snowbelles through an audition process participate solely on merit. In the same spirit, the troupe is raising funds so that all dancers will be able to take advantage of this honor.
Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Project Dance Foundation, c/o The Carolina Snowbelles, 276-H Watauga Village Drive, Suite 139, Boone, NC 28607 and more information can be found at THECAROLINASNOWBELLES.COM
“Precision dance is an entirely different medium of the art form than most young girls experience, requiring incredible teamwork, which can be a challenge for adolescent girls,” said Karyn Kennedy Herterich, President of the Kennedy-Herterich Foundation, “One of the most positive impacts of Cheryl’s lessons has been the incredible communication skills – especially with older people – and the development of poise and self-esteem. These traits will prove to be invaluable to their futures.”
After perf0rming in DC, the Snowbelles will head to New York City to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and meet a Rockette backstage…
After performing, dancers will head to New York City to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and meet a Rockette backstage, truly a dream come true for these aspiring dancers.
About the Carolina Snowbelles
The Carolina Snowbelles, a program of The Project Dance Foundation, is a precision dance troupe in the High Country of North Carolina. Our mission is to train and encourage local dancers ages 10 and above in the unique style of precision dance through training and performing opportunities. The troupe rehearses 3 hours weekly and performs at local events, holiday shows, and schools. Precision dance incorporates tap and jazz styles while teaching skills of teamwork, self-esteem, mentorship, and community involvement. The Carolina Snowbelles seeks funding to facilitate our efforts to continue to provide 100% scholarships to qualifying participants.
The Carolina Snowbelles rely on the concept of teamwork for success. Precision dance naturally promotes the concept of working together as skills are learned and executed both in rehearsals and performances. Each dancer brings a unique set of capabilities to our troupe, and through reflection and teamwork, we are able to blend the individual strengths into a coherent whole.
About Cheryl Cutlip
Cheryl Cutlip is founder of The Project Dance Foundation, director of The Carolina Snowbelles, former Rockette and Assistant Choreographer of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York City. Cheryl served with The Rockettes from 1993-2008. Her passion is to positively impact culture through artistic integrity.
“I grew up in a small town in North Carolina where there was one dance studio and one stop light. Through the help of my supportive parents and amazing dance teachers and with a lot of hard work and determination, I made my way to New York City where I became a Radio City Rockette,” said Cutlip, “Now living in Blowing Rock, NC, I desire to give back to this community what I’ve learned through my experiences as a professional dancer.”