Stokes County native Tara Lynne Schiphof landed a leading role as the Snow Queen in “The Nutcracker” performance by UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem beginning on December 8.
The UNCSA Nutcracker sells more than 15,000 tickets each year and performers spend months rehearsing to give audiences two hours of absolute magic.
Schiphof attended Mount Olive Elementary and Chestnut Grove Middle School before being accepted into the UNCSA residential high school program.
“Stokes Arts is so proud of Tara and we use her often as an example that a person can be from Stokes County and achieve great things with hard work,” said Stokes Arts Council Director Eddy McGee. “Tara has been a scholarship award winner several times, including the Ben Vernon Community Service Award, and has been a volunteer with us through the years.”
Schiphof began dancing at Dance Productions in King before she auditioned and was accepted into the UNCSA’s preparatory dance program. She’s currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in ballet and maintains a 3.7 grade point average.
As a college junior at the UNCSA’s ballet program, she’s been awarded scholarships and several grants including the Career Development grant and the Semantic Art Fund grant that are highly competitive and given to students to help with summer intensives to advance their dance careers.
“I have had some amazing mentors including Pamela Wurdeman and Kathleen Picarillo that helped to guide me along the way. I’ve also had the privilege to train and dance under amazing instructors, including Susan Jaffe, Jared Reddick, Janet Zerbe and Dayna Fox.”
Schiphof said she’s humbled and thankful by the support she’s received from her community.
“Eddy McGee with the Stokes County Arts Council has been a number one supporter of me over the years and I am delighted to have he and his wife Anna, who was also my first grade teacher, in the audience. I’m honored to have my friends and family watch me take the stage to dance my dream role.”
The 2017 production of The Nutcracker will be held at the Stevens Center in Winston- Salem and ticket prices range from $20 to $75.
“To dance in this role for more than 15,000 people is an amazing opportunity that I am so thankful and grateful for. If there are any young aspiring dancers out there my words for you are to never ever give up on your dream. Dance with your heart. A small town girl can go amazing places. You just have to believe in yourself and remember its takes countless hours of practice and preparation for one magical moment on stage.”
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.