Catherine Messina, Bucks County Resident and Mill Ballet School Student, Celebrates Her 15th Year in
Catherine (“Katie) Messina, a Bucks County high school senior, will be celebrating her 15th and final year performing in the Roxey Ballet Company’s production of The Nutcracker. This family-friendly holiday event will be performed at 3:00PM on November 30th, December 1st, December 7th, and December 8th at the Kendall Theatre at The College of New Jersey in Mercer County, NJ......a short drive from Hunterdon County, NJ and Bucks County, PA.
Katie is the only Mill Ballet School student, to date, who has had the honor of dancing every student part in the Nutcracker. At the age of three, Katie had her debut performance was as a tiny mouse and so sparked a fifteen-year love affair with the world of dance and her affiliation with The Mill Ballet School and the Roxey Ballet Company. From there, Katie moved on to Party Girl, Polichinelle, Soldier, Flower Paige, Spanish Paige, Sleeping Clara, Angel, Chinese, Harlequin Doll, Russian, Spanish Dancer, Snow Flurry, Flower, Mother Ginger, and even Clara in 2008. Katie will conclude her Nutcracker legacy this year by performing the roles of Rat, “Head Elf”, Marzipan, Flower, and Snow.
Some of Katie’s favorite Nutcracker memories include “theme Sundays”. The older students augment their usual dance attire during Sunday’s Nutcracker rehearsals with a fun accessory to match a theme – for example one student wore a red and white striped hat and a cat tail to depict a “favorite storybook character”. Another favorite memory, described by Katie, is the joy and excitement she feels upon arriving to the Nutcracker theater every year. She enjoys spending time with the tiniest of dancers and singing holiday songs together to help them with any pre-show jitters (the little ones are all drawn to Katie, whose kindness and patience makes her one of the favorite “big girls”), as well as rocking out with her friends in the dressing room to classics such as “Living on a Prayer”.
“Dance classes and being in the Nutcracker have taught me so much,” comments Katie. “It has taught me how to have grace under pressure. Whether I am the composed loser or humble victor, I have learned that I should never give up because someone is always watching and I want to make everyone, including myself, proud. Dance has given me a work ethic that transfers to every other aspect of my life and it has taught me the importance of commitment, sacrifice, and overcoming obstacles.” Katie continues, “I will never forget my time at The Mill and my Nutcracker experiences. Dance has given me an additional family for which I will be forever grateful.”
Melissa Roxey, Co-Founder of the Mill Ballet School comments, “It is with joy and sadness that we are celebrating Katie’s 15th and final Nutcracker: Katie is a beautiful dancer and most importantly, she is a beautiful person inside and out. She is an inspiration and a role model to not only her peers, but to the younger generation of dancers as well. We are honored that she has spent her childhood and teen years with us. She will be missed next year!”
When she is not performing, you can find Katie in the dance studio taking traditional ballet classes, contemporary ballet, pointe, jazz and tap, or assisting with dance students in wheelchairs. In addition to the Nutcracker, Katie has performed in the Celebrating Diversity program, at The Matheny School, a special hospital for children and adults with developmental disabilities, and in the Roxey Ballet Company’s productions of Cinderella, Pied Piper, Sleeping Beauty, Carnival of the Animals, Peter and the Wolf, and Graduation Ball. Outside of dance, Katie is very involved in her school, Villa Joseph Marie, where she is on Student Council, International Club, and Community Service Corps. She also enjoys tennis.
Interested in seeing Katie this year in the Nutcracker? Buy your tickets today at www.roxeyballet.org. Interested in taking dance classes like Katie? Go to the programs, academic year section of our website at www.millballetschool.com