Loomis dancer stars in 'Nutcracker'

By: Joyia Emard/Loomis News
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The local production of The Nutcracker, a holiday favorite concluding this weekend at Placer High School Theatre, features a local dancer who suffered through four weeks of rehearsal with her arm in a cast. Twelve-year-old Emily Friesen, a seventh-grader at H. Clarke Powers Elementary School, won the coveted role of Clara in August, and a month later her wrist was broken in two places in an accident at school. The accident could have derailed the dancer, but Emily toughed it out and continued with her role. “It wasn’t really all that painful. It was just awkward,” Emily said of dancing while sporting a hot pink cast that runs from her fingers to the very top of her arm. Emily’s doctor removed the cast after only four weeks to allow her to perform. “It’s completely healed, just a little sore, but I’m not allowed to do push-ups or things like that. It’s a lot easier dancing without the cast,” she said. Emily said she has been dancing since age three and this past summer she spent five weeks at a dance camp with Marin Dance Theatre. Emily’s mom, Rebecca, said the cast was supposed to be on for six to eight weeks, but that Emily’s doctor agreed to remove it earlier. She said her daughter didn’t want to miss any practices and found a way to do lifts and pirouettes “as though her arm were not in a cast.” “The first time she was hoisted up into the air, you could feel the tension as everyone held their breath to see how she would do,” Rebecca Friesen said. Performances of The Nutcracker will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, and at noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7. Tickets are available by calling 630-7820 or online at