Kayla Collier practices her role as the Spanish dancer in “The Nutcracker.”

Kayla Collier is finishing her preparations to perform in the role she’s always wanted to play.

She’s in final preparation mode for her final “Nutcracker” performance, and the Cody High School senior is ready to go out in style as the Spanish dancer.

“Knowing it’s my senior year I’ve put more commitment, more strive to do better,” she said. “And I got the role I always wanted since a child, which is Spanish.”

Collier said, as a quarter Hispanic herself, she’s always been drawn to the role and its energetic performance.

At 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday she’ll be part of Rocky Mountain Dance Theatre’s annual performance of “The Nutcracker” at Wynona Thompson Auditorium.

Tickets are selling fast. RMDT spokesperson Jennifer Kaelberer said at this rate both performances could sell-out, so she encourages people to buy their tickets in advance online at, at The Thistle or the Cody Chamber. If any tickets remain, they will be available for purchase at the door for the same price. 

Collier, who started performing in the Christmas tradition at age 3 – she was a chocolate kiss – is one of dozens of local performers this year. 

“We have 91 local performers from Cody, Powell and the surrounding areas as far as Shell, Cowley, Frannie, Byron, Meeteetse and Greybull,” Kaelberer said. “It is a big commitment for not only the performers but also for these families, and we appreciate their support and dedication in making this year’s production a success.”

Collier, who is actually playing four different parts, has been training and practicing her roles since September, when dance classes resumed after the summer break. 

As the performances have gotten closer she’s done more.

“This last week I have probably danced four hours every day after school,” Collier said.

Since her eighth and ninth grade years Collier has been very dedicated to dance.

“I’ve always loved it, never taken a break from it either, which is not common,” she said. “Most girls do other sports or take a break because it’s super time consuming.

“I feel like its cliche to say, but (dance) is a way to express my feelings. I’m not a very ‘sportsy’ girl, I’ve always loved dancing, so to be able to dance at school, have a second family at the studio, makes it very fun. It kind of became a part of me.”

This weekend she’ll express herself on stage for the final time as part of the Nutcracker cast – at least for now.

She’s often thought about returning as a professional dancer to play a part, but that all depends on what she ends up doing in college. So, for now, she’s ready to savor her senior year in the Nutcracker.


If you go

What: RMDT’s performance of “The


When: 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Wynona Thompson Auditorium

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.