NAHANT — One of the town’s youngest ballerinas is heading back to the stage for an encore.
Mia Schena, 13, is performing in Boston Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” for the second year in a row. She began her relationship with Boston Ballet at the Lynch/Van Otterloo YMCA in Marblehead at 3 years old. She dances five days a week for a total of 10.5 hours per week. In additional to her normal ballet classes, Schena has also had four hours of Nutcracker rehearsals for the past eight weeks.
In “The Nutcracker,” Schena takes on the role of a party boy, which was challenging because girls and boys perform ballet very differently, she said.
Schena performed the same role last year, but said she didn’t fully feel the impact of her accomplishment until this year.
“It’s breathtaking,” she said. “You realize you share the stage with famous (dancers). I like seeing the audience and how big it is compared to our rehearsals. There are thousands of people.”
The family visited the Boston Opera House to watch “Hamilton.”
“When we left, they were next on the marquee and that was the first time she said ‘I can’t believe I’m going to be on the same stage as ‘Hamilton,'” said Roxanne Schena.
Schena is performing alongside 250 other young Boston Ballet students from New England. Three different casts take on various roles, such as toy soldiers, pages, reindeer, lambs, polichinelles, baby mice, and party children during 41 performances.
The classic story is centered around a young girl and her favorite Christmas toy, the nutcracker, which comes alive. After defeating the evil mouse king, the nutcracker whisks the girl away to a magical kingdom of dolls.
Mikko Nissinen and Robert Perdziola’s re-envisioned production of the classic ballet premiered in 2012. It was the first time Boston Ballet built a new production entirely from the ground up, engaging craftsmen and -women from across the country, according to a statement from Boston Ballet.
All children performing in the show are students of Boston Ballet School and started rehearsing in October, coached by Nissinen, school director Margaret Tracey, Children’s Ballet Master Miranda Weese, and the school’s faculty.
The show opened at the Boston Opera House on Nov. 29 and will continue through Dec. 30. Schena will perform in a dozen shows.