Monday, November 11, 2013

Spotlight on Hannah Stanford

The role of the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker typically goes to seasoned professionals of the most elite dance companies.

Hannah Stanford. Photo by Kathy Schmitt.
Yet, Hannah Stanford brings grace and maturity to this principle role at only age 15, for the second time.

For the second year in a row, Stanford will perform as the Snow Queen in an upcoming performance of Next Generation Ballet’s The Nutcracker, the Great Imperial Ballet at the Straz Center.

“In a company, you start in the corp. You don’t start as a principle dancer,” said Stanford. “It’s really exciting. It’s amazing to have this role at 15.”

Stanford was recently named as one of Creative Loafing’s annual 25 and Under, which features the Tampa Bay area’s most promising up and coming artists under the age of 25.

She moved from Port Orange, Fla. to the Tampa area nearly three years ago to study dance full-time at the Patel Conservatory. As a Next Generation Ballet (NGB) New Artist, she trains five to six days a week, squeezing in academics in the mornings through Florida Virtual School. A year ahead academically, she’ll graduate before turning 17.

She’s also a year ahead in the dance world. She was accepted at age 14 to the Royal Ballet School in London, but had to wait meet their age requirement. She’ll attend in the fall of 2014.

“I’m very excited to go to London. It’s coming closer every day,” she said.

For Stanford, it’s all dance, all the time, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I love dancing, and I love being at the Conservatory, just to see my friends and to dance.”

In addition to the Snow Queen, she’ll also perform in the Snow Corps and the Flower Corps.

“I love this production of The Nutcracker because the costumes are very authentic and the set is just beautiful. And the choreography is amazing.”

Don’t miss Stanford and all of the award-winner NGB dancers in The Great Imperial Ballet, Dec. 7 and 8 at the Straz Center.

From the exquisite sets and costumes to the extraordinary talent of the NGB dancers, this holiday favorite is bound to be the highlight of your season.

1 comment:

  1. Hannah, we are not only proud of your beautiful dancing, but also of who you are on the inside. I love that you are a volunteer who joyfully gives back to her community. Dad, Jenny, Gramma Crin, Gramma Noni, Uncle Dan, Auntie Lorraine, Auntie MJ, and I couldn't be happier for you!