Fiona Wada-Gill, 12, has a schedule that most girls would find grueling, but Fiona has a secret weapon that helps her survive — her sisters.
Fiona Wada-Gill, 12, is dancing the role of Clara in Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” It’s a dream come true.
It’s also a lot of hard work.
Rehearsals began Oct. 17, and currently Fiona is taking ballet class and rehearsing six days a week. Homework is done late at night, early in the morning, or in the car on the way into the ballet’s Boston studios.
It’s a schedule that most girls would find grueling, but Fiona has a secret weapon that helps her survive — her sisters.
Big sister Bronwyn, 15, a sophomore at Lexington High School, played Clara herself for two years, so she knows the ropes. She is dancing the part of Tea with the Chinese dancers in Act II and as the Shepherdess.
Little sister Delia, 8, a third-grader at the Hastings School, is also starring in the production as the Baby Mouse in Act I’s big battle scene.
Fiona, a seventh-grader at Diamond Middle School and a student at the Boston Ballet School, auditioned with about 350 other kids for the part of Clara. She was chosen for the A cast, which performs on opening night and on Friday and Saturday evenings.
“We’re all in this together,” Bronwyn said. “It’s the most amazing thing.”
Bronwyn passed one bit of wisdom down to her sister — how to make a perfect bun. Even though it can really help keep stray hairs in place, the Wada-Gills are phasing out the use of hairspray this year.
“It’s a toxin in the environment,” Bronwyn said.
“Mom can’t breathe in the car,” Fiona agreed.
Noriko Wada, the girls’ mother, works as a preschool music teacher at the Lexington United Methodist Church’s early childhood education program and as a private piano teacher. She says getting the girls to rehearsal is a community affair.
“Every single day of the week, we have multiple drivers,” Noriko Wada said. About coping with the girls’ complex schedule, she said, “we are trying to stay healthy and be on time.”
All of the girls agree that the hard work pays off when it’s time to perform.
“Once I’m on stage and I start dancing, it feels like it’s actually happening,” Fiona said.
“The excitement is tangible, almost visible,” said Bronwyn. “You can see it on the other dancers’ faces.”
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