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Nutcracker lead dancer is 10-year-old rising star

Satya Tranfield, 10, will dance the lead in the CBT Center for Dance Education’s “Twas the Night Before Nutcracker.”

Every young ballerina dreams of dancing the role of Marie (also known as Clara) in “The Nutcracker,” and for 10-year-old Satya Tranfield, this dream came true early in an exceptionally promising dance career.

Satya was born in Gunma, Japan, and started ballet lessons at age 4. When she arrived in Charleston, she began training with the late Robert Ivey, immediately showing great promise. For the past two years, she has been with the CBT Center for Dance Education under the tutelage of Patricia and Don Cantwell and Jill Eathorne-Bahr.

In March, she won the top honor given in her age category, the Hope Award at the regional Youth American Grand Prix held in Atlanta.

“Satya is an amazingly exceptional young dancer who was born with a perfect facility for dance, the soul to express her gift and has all the God-given natural abilities that many children could only wish to have,” Eathorne-Bahr said.

This holiday season, choreographer Eathorne-Bahr offers a new spin on the old chestnut with “Twas the Night Before Nutcracker.”

This adaptation tells the story as seen through the eyes of Marie, the young dancer who dreams of Sugar Plum fairies and goes on a magical, dance-filled adventure. The production includes 67 student dancers and eight visiting professional dancers.

“Dancing is important to me,” the soft-spoken prodigy said in a phone interview. “I get to express who I am to the audience. It is hard work and I have to memorize a lot of steps, but I love it.”

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