Ahwatukee ‘Nutcracker’ has new star - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

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Ahwatukee ‘Nutcracker’ has new star

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Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2011 1:00 pm

Since she was 2, Jasmine Bassham has had a passion for dancing, has worked really hard, and has never let anything stop her.

Today, at 10 years of age, she is the new Clara in the local production of “The Nutcracker.”

At her young age, Bassham already lives a busy life.

She not only dances and practices everyday, but also takes singing classes, is the president of the student council at Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School, and assists one of her instructors in teaching dance to little kids.

The young dancer has also won in several dance competitions.

“I have always loved to dance, I have worked really hard and I think if it wasn’t for that and my dedication, I would probably not be where I am today,” Bassham said.

Her mom, Kelly Merlene, described her daughter as a “ball of energy,” who is extremely motivated and definitely knows what she wants.

“I knew Jasmine enjoyed being on stage since she started dancing, she was never afraid of anything,” Merlene said.

“She is an overachiever,” her mother added. “I am amazed by her passion, dedication and drive, not only in dance, but everything she does”

Bassham’s success hasn’t been without sacrifices though.

To shine, she has been giving 100 percent of herself since she started dancing, and everything she has achieved is because she has put her mind to it.

“I wanted to be Clara last year, too,” Bassham said. “I was really sad because I didn’t get it the first time, but I knew I was going to be Clara someday, so I tried out again and I got it.”

Davey Trujillo, dance instructor at Dance Studio 111, described Bassham as a “fireball,” and said that she always gives 100 percent of herself.

“She always lights up the stage,” Trujillo said. “After you see her power, her singing, her dancing, you can’t take your eyes off her.”

Trujillo added that being humble is one of the most admiring things about Jasmine, and that she keeps working very hard because she knows that she can always improve.

“I know Jasmine is going to be on Broadway someday,” Trujillo said. “She has what it takes to be a star.”

Merlene said that apart from singing and dancing, Bassham has always been a great student, who always gets straight A’s.

She also said the whole family is very proud of her daughter’s accomplishments, including her brother, who will also be appearing in “The Nutcracker;” and her dad, who is one of her biggest fans.

Merlene said that she is blessed to have a daughter like Jasmine, and added that all parents should support their children and their dreams because, in the long run, it is worth it.

“I know that I want to go to a performing arts school when I graduate from high school,” Bassham said. “I want to move to New York and be on Broadway.

“I always tell others to dream big,” she added. “But you also have to try your best.”

• Montserrat Camacho is a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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