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Youth ballet dancer back for holiday show

ASHLAND, Ky. — One of the first times Amber Light, then Amber Floyd, graced the stage of the Paramount Arts Center was as a snowflake in an Ashland Youth Ballet production of “The Nutcracker.”

This weekend Light will be back there joining her husband, Andy, new to the world of ballet performances, as Mr. and Mrs. Stahlbaum, parents of the young child, Clara, whose fantasy world is the story of “The Nutcracker.”

This will be the 25th anniversary performance of the classic ballet by the AYB.

“I remember auditioning for the youth ballet when it first started,” Light said. “It is a very special thing for the community. I am very happy to be a part of it. It is very special to come back and to brush up on my dancing skills.”

Recently AYB director Maria Whaley posted on a Facebook page a request for any AYB alumni interested in being in this holiday’s production.

Many of the alumni now live out of town and wouldn’t be available for rehearsals.

“But I live here,” Light said. “I told my husband, ‘Hey, we have the opportunity to be in ‘The Nutcracker.’”

Agreement turned into reticence when he realized that meant giving up his Saturdays. But soon the magic of the stage got hold of him.

“We have so much fun,” Light said. “It is neat for us to do this together. We are in the party scene, the whole first half act. We welcome the children and their families to our house.”

Wanting to make sure her twins have the same experience with dance that she had, Light has enrolled 4-year-old Dominic and Isla in Whaley’s creative movement class.

“Taking from Maria is special,” she said. “She does a really good job. I am excited to be part of this.”

There will be two performances of the AYB’s “The Nutcracker.” The first is a school show on Friday morning with the public performance at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors.