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Two Acadiana women use dance to bring community together

Creole Nutcracker
Creole Nutcracker
Posted at 5:00 AM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 07:15:30-04

Leigha Porter and Jazmyn Jones have spent most of their lives in the arts.

"There is a challenge to be true to yourself, be open and vulnerable and share those parts of yourself," Jones said. "There's a lot that comes with art that molds a young person and gives them a safe space. Sometimes it isn't clear what you're expressing but you're still able to get it out."

For this duo, expression is key to success in life.

"Being a part of the arts helps you to learn how to create anything," Porter said. "A scientist is creating in a lab, a teacher is creating lesson plans, you're creating in your life every single day."

Creole Nutcracker

Both Porter and Jones said they noticed that expression/creativity missing from their community. That is why they put their heads together and came up with an idea, a ballet of sorts, to include everyone.

"Not every kid is going to be an athlete, a mathlete, or anything like that," Jones said. "The arts could be your child's place to shine."

The Creole Nutcracker was born.

Creole Nutcracker

While they had to take a small hiatus last year, because of Covid-19, they had to switch gears to a non-live show.

"Even with our response to Covid with our docu-film, the kids got the opportunity to see the behind the scenes of what happens in a film production," Porter said.

This year Porter and Jones hope to be back in full swing.

"One of our biggest missions with Creole Nutcracker is for it to be a stage production that our community, state, and over the globe can love and embrace," Porter said. We want it to be something that can educate kids through the arts."

While the duo would love to see the Creole Nutcracker regarded in the same light as the Nutcracker, this ballet can stand on its own.

Creole Nutcracker

It's something new and innovative.

"It's really unique, a unique touch we wanted to put on the Creole Nutcracker to infuse all of these different dance styles that are so important to dance in general."

Whether you have years of ballet under your belt or you are dabbling with just a few steps here and there, Porter and Jones said they welcome everyone.

They want them to express themselves through the arts.

Try outs for the Creole Nutcracker will open Saturday, August 28th at 5pm.

The location is 2323 Moss Street in Lafayette.

There is a deadline to register is Friday, August 27th at 5pm.