Three Mt. Juliet students are taking to the stage at The Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville as dancers in the upcoming show, “Aladdin and His Winter Wish.”
The plot of the age-old fairytale of “Aladdin” is given a modern twist with pop music by Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Starship and Ray Charles, as well as with magic, and comedy.
Nikolas Ware, Indya Sowell and Chloe Wiest will dance in the show, which runs Dec. 12 through 22.
Ware, a Mt. Juliet Middle School student, said he has no prior theatrical experience, noting his “training” is in the various disciplines of dance.
Ware has been a singer and dancer on stage and TV. The show will mark his debut at TPAC.
Among his performances are as a singer and dancer on Sandy Beaches Cruise ships, where he has performed since he was 4 years old. He also has performed on County Music Association’s Christmas Special as a singer and dancer.
Sowell began dancing at age 6 and trained in ballet, tap, lyrical, contemporary, jazz and hip hop. The 13-year-old is homeschooled, she said.
She has worked with Stephen “tWitch” Boss from “Ellen,” and will be performing a solo during the upcoming competition season choreographed by Wildabeast.
In addition, she has trained with Millennium Dance Complex, as well as Maroon 5’s “Memories” choreographer Phil Wright, “So You Think You Can Dance” resident Choreographer Dave Scott and Wildabeast.
Like Ware, Wiest has a background in dance, having started at age 3. She performs as a competitive dancer and has competed on the stage at TPAC.
Wiest, an 11-year-old, has a diverse resume, having been trained in acting, runway modeling, monologue and self-tape, which is video usually shot by the performer and then sent to casting directors.
Wiest has trained under tWitch,” “So You Think You Can Dance” winner Chehon Wespi-Tscopp, celebrity dance choreographer William Adams, Kayne West’s “Selah” choreographer Talia Favia and Wright, among others.
Wiest wanted to audition because, “I thought it would be an amazing experience to be able to dance and bring my love of dance and be able to learn more about theatre. I love working with Chase Benz who is the choreographer for the show, and I know Lythgoe (the production company) puts on some amazing work.
Sowell said, “I decided to audition because it was a great opportunity. As part of the audition process, everyone learned the choreography, then called to the stage performing in groups. During this process dancers are selected from each group.”
She added, “the show and cast will be amazing. I’m looking forward to this opportunity.”
Ware said the dancers will rehearse approximately 25 hours a week. Rehearsals begin the first week of December, he added.
Sowell said performing makes it “possible to remain in public school but also difficult at times. I recently was enrolled in Mt. Juliet Middle School but currently had to make the decision to transfer to home school due to wanting to pursue other opportunities.”
She has performed at TPAC for dance recitals, adding, “this is my first Broadway cast performance at TPAC.”
Wiest is homeschooled but attends Heritage Christian Academy one day a week.
“(Performing) is the main reason I homeschool,” she said. “So, I can have the flexibility to do my work during the day at a time that works for me. Although I still follow a very rigorous schedule to keep myself on track daily, I do have some flexibility should I need it.”