Freshman Dances in TJC’s ‘Nutcracker’


Photo Courtesy of Baylee Elam

Baylee Elam poses after dance class. This will be the third time she has been in a Nutcracker performance.

Freshman Baylee Caraveo Elam participated in the 2018 performance of the Nutcracker in Tyler.  She performed as a Chinese dancer with the dragon and umbrella dancers.

I found out when I came home one afternoon from school,” Elam said. “[My mom] handed me the phone which had an email on it. I read the cast [list] and saw my name and freaked out.”

Elam goes to the TJC Academy of Dance and has been dancing for 9 years. She decided to try out for the Nutcracker when she saw a flyer posted at the dance studio she attends.

“Trying out was nerve-racking because there were so many people. You have to be really good to get in to one of the dances.””

— Baylee Elam

Elam portrayed a happy Chinese dancer. This character is described as  full of life and mischief.

“Every girl portraying a Chinese character has to play a part in acting,” Elam said. “We have to be full of life and mischief to make it all come together.”

She first participated in The Nutcracker two years ago in California. Elam moved to Lindale this summer and took classes like jazz, tap, hip-hop, and ballet.

“I am so proud of her,” freshman Makayla Gerragauch said. “I see the passion and dedication in her.”

The TJC Nutcracker performance was December 1st, 2018. There was two showings that day, one at 2:00 p.m. and the other at 7:30 p.m.

“I was so excited to get to practice at the UT Tyler Cowan Center,” Elam said. “I am ready to tell the story through dance and bring it alive.”