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Sunday, December 8, 2013


We can all relate to the song, "There's No Place Like Home For the Holidays," but to ballerina Katherine Neumann, who grew up in Olympia, Washington, the word "home" means more than her family's loving household.

"Dance Theatre Northwest will always be my first dance studio home," Neumann said in a recent interview for Good Life Northwest. No wonder. She began to learn dance from Artistic Director Melanie Kirk-Stauffer at the studio in University Place, Washington, at the age of four, became a member of the DTNW dance company, and also taught there. She currently lives in New York and studies dance at Steps on Broadway. Kirk-Stauffer is delighted that Neumann could make the trip home to dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in studio's annual production of "The Nutcracker" as she has done before.

This DTNW holiday classic returns to the Mount Tahoma High School auditorium for three performances next weekend. The school is located at 4634 S. 74th, Tacoma, WA 98409. Times are 2:20 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15. Tickets can be purchased online.

"It's been very affirming going there," Neumann said of her experiences at Steps on Broadway. "A lot of the teachers ask me where I got my dance training. They all say I've had excellent training, so that's been nice. It just reaffirms what I already knew about Dance Theatre Northwest; it's a great school and you get great training there."

Oceana Thunder and Maddie Ewer        Photo by Maks Zakharov courtesy of Dance Theatre Northwest

She appreciates the warm homecoming welcome from not only her own very supportive family, but her DTNW family as well.

"It's great to see all the other girls and how much they've improved since I've been gone," said Neumann, whose heartstrings stretch across the nation. "They send me messages in New York and talk about how they're working really hard for when I come home. We inspired each other to keep working hard, even though we're far apart."

Even though Neumann has starred in this ballet many times before, it changes and improves each year. She looks forward to applying the additional skills she has acquired at Steps on Broadway. Kirk-Stauffer, keeps DTNW's "Nutcracker" fresh and exciting with new costumes and choreography. She and Associate Artistic Director Vadne Domeika, and all the dancers have been putting in long hours preparing for this delightful event. If you've seen it before, you haven't seen it like this, so order your tickets right away.

"She's rearranged a lot of the pieces," Neumann said. "Every year it's a little better. It just keeps growing and improving. It's exciting! It's going to be a really good show."

Group and military discounts are available.
For more information, call (253) 778-6534.

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