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A local ballerina's full circle moment as she returns to Honolulu for 'The Nutcracker'

Carolina Ballet

Families can enjoy 'The Nutcracker' back on the big stage with a familiar face this weekend.

Courtney Schenberger grew up in Honolulu and trained with Ballet Hawaiʻi before pursuing a professional ballet career. She was a student at Maʻemaʻe Elementary in Nuʻuanu when visions of sugar plums danced in her head.

She is now a principal dancer with Carolina Ballet and is home on the islands to perform and inspire our local budding ballerinas.

The Conversation caught up with Schenburger as she reminisced about her journey as a professional dancer and shared tips for young dancers.

"It feels really incredible because I remember being a kid in the Nutcracker production and looking up to all of the professionals that came, I remember being absolutely mesmerized by them," Schenburger said. "It feels like a full circle moment."

"It's so nice to have so many different dancers and people to look up to," Schenburger said.

During her trip back, she also said she looks forward to seeing her friends, her Ballet Hawaiʻi community and to be back performing at the Blaisdell.

"It feels like home," Schenburger said.

For more information about Ballet Hawaii's 'The Nutcracker,' click here.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at
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