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Madison native, instructor earns lead role with Atlanta Ballet

Kelsey Ebersold danced the lead role for Atlanta Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker." She is a former student and part-time instructor at The Dance Company. (CONTRIBUTED)
Kelsey Ebersold danced the lead role for Atlanta Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.” She is a former student and part-time instructor at The Dance Company. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – The acclaimed Atlanta Ballet selected Kelsey Ebersold, former student at The Dance Company, for the lead of Marya in “The Nutcracker.”

Ebersold, 25, moved to Atlanta in 2012 after graduating in dance performance and choreography from the University of Alabama. Currently, she is an apprentice with Atlanta Ballet.

“I’ve only been in four ‘Nutcracker’ performances, which for professional dancers, is a low number. It was very special to be chosen for Atlanta Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ as my first real performance of the ballet,” Ebersold said. Furthermore, the company usually selects one of its stellar students.

Since four years old, Ebersold has loved the stage. “It’s the place where I’ve learned the most about myself … and delved into many emotions to grow as an artist,” she said.

Her numerous lead roles have included “The Nutcracker” as Sugar Plum Fairy and “Carmina Burana.” She opened as “Requiem for a Rose” soloist. “I was wearing a nude leotard with my hair down, holding a red rose in my mouth,” Ebersold said.

Her five-minute solo was both technical and physical — immensely challenging. Frightened at first, Ebersold chose to believe in herself and her ability.

In Atlanta Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” Ebersold wanted “to capture the essence a preteen girl with a naughty younger brother” as Marya (called ‘Clara’ in many versions). During rehearsals, Ebersold grew her acting side. “I wanted to leave the audience feeling joyful and alive,” she said.

“Beth Cannon and Julie George at The Dance Company were my biggest encouragers. They facilitated much of my growth. I feel well rounded because of their exposure to all aspects of dance,” Ebersold said.

When in Madison, Ebersold teaches ballet technique and strengthening classes to older students at The Dance Company.

Ebersold hopes to continue advancing with Atlanta Ballet. Foremost, she wants to “push my own boundaries and grow as an artist to fall more in love with the art.”

Her parents are Mark and Tina Ebersold. Tina, a longtime Madison educator, currently teaches second-graders at Columbia Elementary School.

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