Trey Weisbrod, a freshman at Concordia, was told by a friend he should try ballet after seeing him stretch and show his flexibility. He thought he would give it a shot.
He never thought he would get a major part.
Among three other roles, Weisbrod will be the nutcracker during the Bonnie Haney Dance & Performing Co.'s showing of "The Nutcracker & Holiday Show" at West Fargo Sheyenne High School.
"It's the technique and intricate details that require a lot of focus," Weisbrod said. "I'm thrilled to get this opportunity."
Bonnie Haney, owner and instructor of the dance studio who is a former dance instructor at Concordia College, said about 100 people of all kinds of ages will be involved in the show. This will be the 29th year her studio has performed this show, but Haney said she enjoys it to this day.
"You can do things on TV, but on a stage you have to make magic happen," Haney said. "We have to make that happen without all of the fancy camerawork. It's a real-life thing."
This ballet has taken plenty of work to get ready for. Most of the performers come in two to three times a week to practice, and Haney said it requires plenty of strength, including in one's toes, to perform.
"They're doing professional level stuff, and that normally requires 40 hours a week like a real job," Haney said. "But they're doing it, all the lifts and stuff. It's professional level."
One of the head teachers, Moorhead High School senior Isabella Skoblik, has danced since she was 3 years old but has done this show for 13 years and has been every role in that time. Though the practices can be demanding, she loves dance because it shows off grace and strength simultaneously.
"It's like reliving when I was younger teaching the other girls dances," Skoblik said. "It's half of my life. It's like I live here at the studio. It's part of my personality. I can't sit still. I always have to be dancing."
The show includes several different types of ethnic dances and styles. This show aside, Haney's students have learned several techniques in practice.
"They really are very versatile," Haney said. "It's amazing. Some of our ballet dancers go from that and whip into hip hop, tap or Irish stepdance. They're very versatile and work very hard and their craft."
Haney said the backdrops are hand painted by local artist Karen Bakke, which are more beautiful than anything she's rented. When shows come together and performances go smoothly, Haney said her job is rewarding, which is why she hasn't gotten tired of it just yet.
"The music is very expressive and tells you exactly what's going on," Haney said. "The Nutcracker is dancing through the music. ... I think why it's loved so much is because it's a great story."
If you go
Who: Bonnie Haney Dance & Performing Co.
What: "The Nutcracker & Holiday Show"
When: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, and 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
Where: West Fargo Sheyenne High School
Tickets: $25 for adults, $15 for college age and younger at entry; discount available in advance
More info: bonniehaneydance.com or (701) 232-9900.