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Meet Clara and Cast


Bring your camera and program to the lobby after the show and meet Clara for pictures and autographs.


Lydia Polk

Photo by Rachael Haak

Lydia Polk (Clara)

Lydia attends CAS Ballet Theatre School and has performed in Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker for the last nine years. Her first role was a Sparkly Clown toy. Her favorite roles include Columbine, Mouse Queen Puppet, and Chocolate. In addition to her passion of ballet, she enjoys movies and baking. She wishes to thank her parents, sisters, teachers and cast members for all their support.



Jim Benjey

Jim Benjey (Nutcracker)

Jim is excited to be dancing his 12th year in Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker. In addition to his training at CAS Ballet Theatre School he has studied at Bossov Ballet Theatre School in Maine and the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC. He is a graduate of Washtenaw Community College. He wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season!


Jessica Loechli

Jessica Loechli (Sugar Plum Faerie)

Jessica Loechli is thrilled to be dancing the roles of Guest and Sugar Plum Faerie in her 16th Nutcracker with AABT. A sophomore and president of the WCC S.T.E.M. Club, she plans to transfer to U of M next fall to major in neuroscience. She would like to thank Carol for her excellent training, her family and friends for their endless support, her sister Rebecca for being a wonderful role model and inspiration to her dancing, and the audience for coming to see us dance.

Avery Bruni

Avery Bruni (Cavalier)

Avery is excited to be dancing his 7th year in Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker. He graduated from the University of Michigan in Physics and Sound Engineering. Avery's dance education started at Central City Dance Center in Canton, MI where he learned Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop and Ballet. He spends his free time writing music for film and performing in a band.


Paulina Devlin

Paulina Devlin (Snow Queen)

Paulina Devlin is thrilled to return to the AABT Nutcracker stage. Paulina recently completed her M.S. in Physiology, enjoys working as a clinical study coordinator, and hopes to attend medical school next fall. She also enjoys teaching at CAS Ballet Theatre School. Paulina especially thanks her Grandma and Aunt Pat, who have watched her dance as everything from a “little fishy” to Snow Queen.

Eric Priuska

Eric Priuska (Snow King)

Eric is performing for his 7th year in Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker. His roles have included Coffee, Chocolate, Marzipan, and Dr. Stahlbaum. He is excited to be performing this year with his older son, Kaleb Doughten-Priuska. He thanks his partner, Jay, and their younger son, Micah, for all their love and support. And he thanks Carol and all the incredible dancers at Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre and CAS Ballet Theatre School.

Lorna Davalos

Lorna Davalos (Mouse Queen and Dew Drop Faerie)

Lorna is thrilled to be dancing in her 16th Nutcracker performance with Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre. She is a graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology and Eastern Michigan University dietetics program. She is currently pursuing a masters in human nutrition at EMU. Lorna would like to thank her wonderful dance partners, AABT family, and friends for their continued support.


Kaleb Doughten-Priuska

Kaleb Doughten-Priuska (Moore and Tea)

Kaleb is performing for his 7th year in Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker. His roles have included Fritz, Nutcracker Puppet, Harlequin, Soldier, Moor, and Tea. He thanks his friends and family for all their love and support.

Lydia Polk

Photo by Rachael Haak


Lydia Polk (Clara)
Lydia attends CAS Ballet Theatre School and has performed in Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker for the last nine years. Her first role was a Sparkly Clown toy. Her favorite roles include Columbine, Mouse Queen Puppet, and Chocolate. In addition to her passion of ballet, she enjoys movies and baking. She wishes to thank her parents, sisters, teachers and cast members for all their support.


Jim Benjey


Jim Benjey (Nutcracker)

Jim is excited to be dancing his 12th year in Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker. In addition to his training at CAS Ballet Theatre School he has studied at Bossov Ballet Theatre School in Maine and the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC. He is a graduate of Washtenaw Community College. He wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season!



Jessica Loechli


Jessica Loechli (Sugar Plum Faerie)

Jessica Loechli is thrilled to be dancing the roles of Guest and Sugar Plum Faerie in her 16th Nutcracker with AABT. A sophomore and president of the WCC S.T.E.M. Club, she plans to transfer to U of M next fall to major in neuroscience. She would like to thank Carol for her excellent training, her family and friends for their endless support, her sister Rebecca for being a wonderful role model and inspiration to her dancing, and the audience for coming to see us dance.


Avery Bruni


Avery Bruni (Cavalier)

Avery is excited to be dancing his 7th year in Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker. He graduated from the University of Michigan in Physics and Sound Engineering. Avery's dance education started at Central City Dance Center in Canton, MI where he learned Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop and Ballet. He spends his free time writing music for film and performing in a band.


Paulina Devlin


Paulina Devlin (Snow Queen)

Paulina Devlin is thrilled to return to the AABT Nutcracker stage. Paulina recently completed her M.S. in Physiology, enjoys working as a clinical study coordinator, and hopes to attend medical school next fall. She also enjoys teaching at CAS Ballet Theatre School. Paulina especially thanks her Grandma and Aunt Pat, who have watched her dance as everything from a “little fishy” to Snow Queen.


Eric Priuska


Eric Priuska (Snow King)
Eric is performing for his 7th year in Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker. His roles have included Coffee, Chocolate, Marzipan, and Dr. Stahlbaum. He is excited to be performing this year with his older son, Kaleb Doughten-Priuska. He thanks his partner, Jay, and their younger son, Micah, for all their love and support. And he thanks Carol and all the incredible dancers at Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre and CAS Ballet Theatre School.


Lorna Davalos


Lorna Davalos (Mouse Queen and Dew Drop Faerie)
Lorna is thrilled to be dancing in her 16th Nutcracker performance with Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre. She is a graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology and Eastern Michigan University dietetics program. She is currently pursuing a masters in human nutrition at EMU. Lorna would like to thank her wonderful dance partners, AABT family, and friends for their continued support.


Kaleb Doughten-Priuska


Kaleb Doughten-Priuska (Moor and Tea)
Kaleb is performing for his 7th year in Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker. His roles have included Fritz, Nutcracker Puppet, Harlequin, Soldier, Moor, and Tea. He thanks his friends and family for all their love and support.