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Taos Youth Ballet presents Thumbelina, a full-length ballet adapted from Hans Christian Anderson’s classic, at the TCA this weekend.

The ballet features the studio’s three-hundred and fifty students, their ages ranging from three to adult.

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These performances are quite elaborate productions with brilliant sets that transform the TCA stage into a magical wonderland. TYB Director Amber Vasquez who was featured on taoStyle last week, is gifted with a theatrical bent, along with her dancer’s prowess.


The always incredible costumes are a collaborative effort with Amber’s mother Viola, overseeing her voluntary army of seamstresses, many of whom are mothers of the young dancers.

IMG_2345The role of Thumblina is shared by dancers (and best friends) the lovely Jamie Jensen (above) and Natalya Quintanilla (with the Prince and flying in the green costume at the bottom of this post). The story is narrated by the very gifted young actress and dancer Camille Cooper (top photo), who was recently accepted into the New Mexico School for the Arts Acting program for the 2015/2016 school year.

IMG_5510Thumbelina will showcase original choreography by Taos Youth Ballet teachers Amber Vasquez, Tuesday Faust, Ashley Turin, Casandra Romero and Megan Yackovich. as well as traditional classical choreography taken from famous ballets such as Cinderella, the Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty. The performance will premier at the Taos Community Auditorium on Thursday through Saturday.

IMG_6085“Ballet is not just about little girls in pink tutus” says Taos Youth Ballets Director AmberVasquez, “Dancing is a challenging sport and art form for both girls and boys.”

IMG_6620These wonderful photographs by Zoe Zimmerman (Taos Youth Ballet’s official photographer and the talented Camille’s mother) were taken recently in her studio, of some of the young dancers appearing in the production.

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Several of these young people have been studying dance with Taos Youth Ballet since they themselves were three, and as tiny as Thumbelina herself. My granddaughter Natalya, included. IMG_1251 - Version 2In this story, after many mis-adventures, Thumbelina meets a little Prince just her size.

IMG_5798 - Version 2Of course there just happen to be two male dancers who stepped lightly into that role.

IMG_5930Taos Youth Ballet performances are always sold-out affairs so be forewarned if you plan to go. The lines are long and It might be a good idea to call ahead and reserve seats.

IMG_6994As for the flying gene my granddaughter appears to carry, I have no idea where it comes from!


For more information on Thumbelina and the Taos Youth Ballet, please visit their link below this post.


Photographs by Zoe Zimmerman


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