Motl Sisters

Melbourn Motl and Stella Motl are pictured during their most recent performance of The Victoria Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker. The sisters have performed together in the annual Christmas production for more than 10 years. (Contributed photo)

Sisters Melbourn Motl, 16, and Stella Motl, 14, recently performed in front of local students and surrounding counties in The Victoria Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.”

The sisters have been performing together in The Nutcracker for 12 years.

This year, Melbourn danced the roles of Dew Drop Fairy and Snow Lead.

“When you’re a little girl, everybody dreams of being Clara, but as you grow up, girls usually aspire to be Snow Queen or the Dew Drop Fairy,” said Melbourn. “I was Dew Drop this year and would love to be Clara or Snow Queen next, but I will be grateful for any role I get and perform it to the best of my ability.”

Stella danced the roles of Marzipan Corps and Snow.

“I will always be thankful for any role given to me, but I would love to one day play Clara, Snow Queen or Dew Drop,” said Stella.

In past productions, the girls have performed the roles of cherubs, toys, trumpeteer, mice, angels, clouds, polichinelles, party girls, soldiers, Chinese corps, Rose Bud, Marzipan Corps, Russian, Dew Drop Fairy and Spanish Corps.

“The best part about being in the Nutcracker is getting the opportunity to share what we love with the children who come to the four school performances,” said Melbourn. “When my friends come to watch me perform, I get a little bit more nervous, but I am mostly excited to show them a little piece of what I love to do.”

Sister Stella was also excited to perform for fellow students.

“I love getting to share Christmas joy with all of the school students that come, but I am especially grateful that my school keeps participating by bringing our third graders every year,” said Stella. “This year in particular, I was honored to have Fr. Tommy and two Sisters from OLG watch me perform and I really appreciated their support and kindness.”

Both sisters take lessons in ballet, pointe, tap, modern and jazz from Busby’s Dancenter in Victoria along with summer dance intensives at Joffrey Texas.

“Mama signed me up for ballet when I was two years old because I was rather pigeon-toed.  My feet corrected, and we just kept dancing,” said Melbourn. “I have been dancing for so long that I don’t know what I’ll do without it. Dancing itself is pure joy, but you learn so much more than technique. You develop poise, self-discipline, and confidence, and you make lifelong friends in the process.”

As for Stella, she has also been dancing since she was a toddler.

“I started taking dance when I was three years old because my sister, Melbourn, was taking classes,” said Stella. “I thank her and my mama for making me go because now it is my favorite thing.”

Big sister Melbourne said that watching Stella perform from the wings made her teary. 

“Stella is a gifted dancer and I’m so incredibly proud of her,” said Melbourn.

Stella also looks up to her big sister.

“Melbourn is the best sister and the best example,” said Stella. “She is always improving and she inspires me to take opportunities that I am given and make the most out of every step.”

Both sisters say that dancing in The Nutcracker is a wonderful opportunity for community members to be involved in a production just for fun and think it helps young dancers decide if they want to continue dancing.  

Stella is an eighth grade student at Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic School. She says she will keep praying for God to make his plans for her clear, but as of now, she plans to go into the medical field.

Melbourn is in the eleventh grade at Calhoun High School. She wants to continue to take dance classes in college for the joy of it and plans to major in biomedical science.