Becoming Clara: Five questions with Julia Calhoun

Jessica Fuller • Dec 3, 2018 at 11:11 AM

Thirteen-year-old Julia Calhoun will be at the forefront of East Tennessee Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.” 

This is her second time reprising the role – she played a younger version of the character several years ago. But this time, she’s strapped on her pointe shoes for a more challenging version of the role. 

East Tennessee Ballet Academy’s production of “The Nutcracker,” has three showings this weekend. To catch the ballet with a live performance by the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra and the the Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy, grab tickets for $35 each at jcsymphony.org. That performance will be at 7:30 in Seeger Chapel on Milligan College’s main campus in Elizabethton. 

The other two performances will be matinee showings at the Gregory Center on the college’s campus at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $16 general admission and are available at the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library.

Fast Facts 
Name, age, school:  Juila Calhoun, 13, homeschooled
How long have you been dancing?  10 years
Favorite character in “The Nutcracker”  The Sugar Plum Fairy
Types of dance you’re trained in: classical and modern ballet
Favorite flavor of pie:  Blueberry 


Q. How did you get into dancing? 

A: I started when I was four years old, I always thought it was really fun to see other people do that kind of dancing (ballet), so I thought it would be cool to try it out, and here I am!  


Q. What is the most challenging part of dancing Clara? 

A: It’s learning new things and really pushing myself and my comfort level that’s really hard for me to get used to. 

Q. What’s your favorite part about the role? 

A: Like I said before, it’s the challenging and I like that I can get better by doing things like that. It makes me stronger. 

Q. What’s your dream role and why? 

A: I’ve always wanted to be The Sugar Plum Fairy because I think it’s really cool. I’ve seen other people dance it, we have a guest artist coming and it’s really cool to see how she dances. 

Q. What do you wish people knew about ballet?

A: People think it’s really easy and that you don’t have to be really strong. People don’t understand it’s really hard to do. 

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