Deaf best friends share their experience in Rochester’s Nutcracker

[anvplayer video=”5152120″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Two young girls who are deaf shared their experience being a part of The Nutcracker in Rochester.

Arwyn Fox and Lilly Warren were in the mix of 175 kids in this year’s annual production of The Nutcracker. There were six performances inside Kodak Hall in November.

Arwyn is 9 and Lilly is 8. Both were very excited to share how they felt included in the production, from directors to other cast members. Their mom’s Jessica and Heather were with us to be interpreters during our interview.

RELATED: Behind the scenes of The Nutcracker at Rochester City Ballet

This year both young ladies were cast as “Sprites”, and of course we had to ask them, what is that?! Smiling and laughing, Arwyn said, “We were hiding and then showing and dancing.”

The girls have been dancing queens since they were little. As they grow older, they became inseparable. The girls say being deaf doesn’t hold them back from anything, so they took on The Nutcracker.

“We had to learn, and we had to follow and rehearsing and rehearsing and did the show,” Lilly explained.

Arwyn says she was blown away by the talent on stage. “It was exciting I mean when it happened we would go in and it was hard we had to learn and really pay attention for the show.”

The annual show is put on by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rochester City Ballet. Arwyn and Lilly said being deaf they had to work a little harder on stage, and “pay attention” as they explained it. To help, the team was able to provide an interpreter for them at every rehearsal and performance through The Nutcracker Scholarship fund.

“Deaf and hearing can be together and we work hard and we work together sometimes deaf does ballet sometimes hearing do ballet,” Lilly said.

“From the beginning of the show wow and you see it and you see there is so much skill there,” Arwyn added.

Both girls say they felt included, and that they were part of the team no matter what their role was. “It was really fun being in the show, I really enjoyed it, I’m proud of myself,” Lilly said.

For next year’s show Arwyn wants to be an angle and Lilly wants to be one of the ginger -babies who do acrobatics.