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Local dancers, friends to perform as Clara

Two friends from Pike County will share the role of Clara in the Griffin Ballet Theater’s upcoming performances of The Nutcracker. Bethany Barner of Concord and Anna Fain of Molena are both 12 years old and both will be featured as one of the most prestigious roles in the performance. Bethany will take the stage as Clara during the 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24 and 2 p.m Saturday, Nov. 25 performances. Anna will take the stage as Clara during the 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26 performances. The girls practice ballet three or four days a week and eight hours each Saturday as well as occasional Sunday practices and they are used to dedicating themselves to dancing with both wishing to make a career of ballet. Bethany started ballet at 3 and a half years old and she has performed in three different Nutcracker performances with the Griffin Ballet Theatre – as an angel, soldier, icicle, Arabian and now as Clara. She was also a Trick or Treater and Ghost Bride in this October’s performance of Ghost. ’I like that I can show my personality through the way I dance and that when I dance everything in my head leaves and all that is left is dance,’ she said. ‘I am so happy that I get to share this role with my best friend because, not only does she get me but we can talk about anything and trust each other. I love to play my ukelele, read and sing in chorus at school but dance plays the biggest role in my life. When I graduate I want to go to the University of Georgia, major in business and enroll in the dance program and after that I would like to own a dance studio in our very own town of Zebulon.’ Bethany is the daughter of Bryan and Karen Barner of Concord, the sister of Zachery Barner of Guyton, Ethan Barner who is stationed in Washington State and Daniel Barner of Concord. She is the granddaughter of Bill and Kay Barner of Dublin. Anna started ballet at 2 and a half years old because her mother wanted her to make friends. ’When I dance, I let everything go. I get to the studio and I forget about all my worries. Dancing is a big part of my life and the thing I enjoy most,’ she said. ‘I was 6 when I was in my first real production of the Nutcracker. This will be my seventh Nutcracker with GBT. In the past, I have been a soldier, angel, polichinelle, party girl, candy cane, icicle, Arabian and now Clara. I am so glad to be sharing this role not only with my friend but with my best friend. I am so glad we are going through this journey together.’ When Anna finishes school, she plans to earn a fine arts degree and perform at the Paris Opera House Ballet Theater. Anna is the daughter of Cathy and Jimmy Fain of Molena, sister of Brian and Travis Ashley and Valerie Bowen, and granddaughter of Debbie Ferguson of Molena.

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