Quaker Valley middle-schooler lands 'Radio City' touring role
Kate Gardinier will spend Thanksgiving and Christmas away from home this year, but still will be with her family as she “dances the role of her young life,” said her mother.
The Quaker Valley Middle School seventh-grader will portray “The Nutcracker's” Clara in the touring production of “Radio City Christmas Spectacular,” starring the Rockettes.
She will perform in Atlanta; West Palm Beach and Tampa, Fla., throughout November and December.
Her family will travel to spend the holidays with her, her mother said.
Kate, who has been dancing since she was 3 years old, begins rehearsals Friday in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
A daughter of Rick and Marianne Gardinier of Sewickley Heights, Kate, 12, is one of six Claras chosen for the three casts — two each for the two U.S. touring shows and one for the New York City production. She auditioned in May at Radio City Music Hall for the only ballet role in the show.
Kate, who participates in the pre-professional program at Wexford Dance Academy under the direction of Elizabeth Mackin Karas and Beth Robertshaw, made it through three cuts.
Radio City will provide a tutor so that Kate can keep up with her studies, and family members will stay with Kate as she travels from city to city.
Kate participates in two performances with Wexford Dance Academy every year and has competed in the New York City Dance Alliance program, where she has won ballet scholarships in addition to platinum, first place and Critics Choice awards for her performances.
For more information, visit www.radiocitychristmas.com.
— Staff report