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Culver City High School Student Completes 12 years of Dance at Westside School of Ballet

Toscana Finke has performed 15 different roles from The Nutcracker, from Blue Soldier to the Dew Drop Fairy


Toscana Finke as Dew Drop

Toscana Finke is a graduating senior from Culver City High School who has been dancing at Westside School of Ballet for over 12 years, three of those at the most advanced level (Level 7). She is one of the last students currently with Westside Ballet that has trained directly under founder Yvonne Mounsey.

Toscana has performed 15 different roles from The Nutcracker, from an 8-year-old Blue Soldier, to her dream role, the Dew Drop Fairy. She has also performed in a wide variety of pieces in past Spring Showcases, including Yvonne Mounsey's Classical Symphony, George Balanchine's Valse Fantasie, and Marius Petipa's Sleeping Beauty.

This will be Toscana's tenth and final Spring Showcase. She will be performing in Paquita as a soloist, dancing an ebullient solo. Toscana will be featured as a soloist in contemporary ballet Handel Dances choreographed by Sophie Monat as well; her solo is another high-octane piece. Finally, Toscana will be performing in the jazz piece Grease as the lead Sandy Olsson.

After graduation, Toscana will be heading to upstate New York to further her education at the very selective small liberal arts school, Hamilton College. She was awarded a scholarship, and is intending to double major in Neuroscience and Dance and Movement Studies, while also taking Pre-Med courses in order to pursue a career in medicine. She is looking forward to becoming the role model that she dreamed of as a six-year-old in Level 1: fouette-ing physician.


Westside Ballet School

Here's a Facebook 'reGram' of Toscana dancing in Nutcracker:


GREASE: In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 1978 motion picture "Grease", Westside Ballet's jazz teacher Michele Bachar Mendicelli is choreographing an homage to the romantic comedy film, which was based on the original musical from 1971. The film was a commercial and critical success and was considered one of the best films of 1978.

Named after the 1950's United States working-class youth subculture known as greasers, the musical is set in 1959 at fictional Rydell High School and follows ten working-class teenagers, lead by "bad boy" Danny Zuko (played by Zane Jessewein) and "good girl" Sandy Olsson (played by Toscana Finke).


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