Gateway: Living

Gig Harbor Ballet Company brings ‘The Nutcracker’ to local dance scene

Reilly Hohberg, left, and YunMi Yong are starting Gig Harbor Ballet Company. The company was launched in June with the intention of gathering dancers for a production of “The Nutcracker” to run this holiday season.
Reilly Hohberg, left, and YunMi Yong are starting Gig Harbor Ballet Company. The company was launched in June with the intention of gathering dancers for a production of “The Nutcracker” to run this holiday season. jbessex@gateline.com

Building on their own passions for dance, YunMi Yong and Reilly Hohberg have launched the Gig Harbor Ballet Company to bring another venue for Gig Harbor dancers to perform.

The company was launched in June with the intention of gathering dancers for a production of “The Nutcracker” to run this holiday season.

“I just wanted to bring ‘The Nutcracker’ to Gig Harbor,” Yong, 44, said.

Yong and Hohberg met last summer and decided to pair up to launch the company as co-owners and work on the company’s choreography together.

I just wanted to bring ‘The Nutcracker’ to Gig Harbor.

YunMi Yong, co-owner Gig Harbor Ballet Company

“We were kind of back and forth for awhile and then were like, ‘Let’s do it!’” Hohberg, 23, said.

The company already has more than a dozen dancers signed up and ready to begin rehearsing, with the first scheduled rehearsal set for Friday (Sept. 9).

In addition to “The Nutcracker,” the women plan to offer a production in the spring and workshops through the summer for all ages, but will not be holding regular classes, instead functioning as an add-on performance opportunity for established dancers and those already enrolled in lessons.

Yong has been dancing ballet since age 19 as a hobby and teaching for the past 15 years in addition to working as an engineer.

“I’ve always liked having both in my life,” she said. “Dance was always a hobby ... music was what drew me.”

For Hohberg, dance has been a lifelong pursuit.

“I always wanted to be a dancer,” she said. “It’s always been my focus.”

Hohberg has been teaching at Harbor Dance for the past four years and will combine that teaching with helping to run the Gig Harbor Ballet Company.

“I grew up learning from a lot of different teachers with a lot of different styles, so I’d say my style’s varied,” she said. “I have a pretty classical base.”

The long-term goal for the company is to establish another performance venue for Gig Harbor dancers.

Everyone’s been supportive. It’s fun because we have dancers from a couple of studios. I think it’ll be fun for them to dance together.

Reilly Hohberg, co-owner Gig Harbor Ballet Company

“I just want us to have a Gig Harbor-based ballet company that gives our dancers more performance opportunity,” Yong said.

Moving forward with the dancers and their families as rehearsals are set to begin, both women said that they have received support from the established dance studios in the area.

“Everyone’s been supportive,” Hohberg said. “It’s fun because we have dancers from a couple of studios. I think it’ll be fun for them to dance together.”

The Gig Harbor Ballet Company will be placing posters around Gig Harbor with information about performances as the holiday season gets closer.

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4155, @gateway_andrea

Gig Harbor Ballet Company

To contact the company with questions or for more information, email ghballetcompany@gmail.com or call YunMi Yong at 302-312-5602 or Reilly Hohberg at 503-881-7984.

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