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From Clarence Center to Center Stage: A Radio City Rockette from WNY

Posted at 7:08 PM, Dec 25, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — An iconic Christmas tradition that kicks off the holiday season features one of our own this year.

"I had many dreams, being a Rockette was always one of them. I actually saw the Rockettes in Buffalo for the first time," said Soultana Schiavi, of Clarence Center. "That was the dream."

She trained at the David DeMarie Dance Studio in Clarence and the American Academy of Ballet and Dance in Williamsville.

"She was very beautiful," said Maris Battaglia, owner of the American Academy of Ballet. "My husband used to always say that because of her long legs, she should be a Rockette."

After training for years and auditioning three times, she got the job.

"It's come full circle that she's done the Nutcracker since she was two-years-old and now he's performing Christmas Nutcrackers everyday," said Tammy Schiavi, Soultana's mom.

It looks glamorous, but it's hard work.

"We rehearse for about six weeks, six hours a day, six days a week, so it's an extremely rigorous process," said Soultana.

She typically performs two shows a day. She comes in three hours before showtime and works out to get her body ready to perform. Her family is what keeps her going.

"They've been amazing. My family came the first week of shows. My mom saw the show three times within that period," said Soultana.

"I know it by heart. I could dance it with them," said Tammy.

Tammy brought a group of 43 people to go see the show earlier this month. There's still a chance for you to go.

"I'd love to have more people from Buffalo in the audience. It's a short flight over," said Soultana.

The show runs through January 5th.