Christmas in Susanville would be a lot more subdued if the Susanville City Kickettes didn’t perform at the annual Christmas Extraordinaire at the Veterans Memorial Hall Dec. 8 and Dec. 9. Photos by Sam Williams

Kickettes boost local holiday spirit

With each and every high kick after high kick, the Susanville City Kickettes and a cast of more than 100 dancers of all ages shared a happy and warm holiday spirit with the standing-room only crowd at the Veterans Memorial Hall Saturday, Dec. 9.

The Kickettes offered their 15th Christmas Extraordinaire Dec. 8 and Dec. 9, directed by Jessica Wade and her assistant Ashleigh Adair. Other JandJ instructors include Celeste Wiser, Katherine Guess, Ashley Lively and Coralyn Desselle.

The program highlighted three categories of Kickettes — seniors, returning and newbies.

The seniors included Carlene Simpson (4-year Kickette, 12 years at JandJ Performing Arts and 3 years on the competitive team), Samantha Tiffany (3-year Kickette and 5 years with JandJ), Katie Kennedy (4-year Kickette and 5 years with JandJ) and Alyssa Stark (2-year Kickette and 6 years with JandJ).

Returning Kickettes included Megan MacKay, Hailey Moore, Hailey Gregor, Bailey Heath and Eden League.

Newbies included Jaycee Johnson, Beka Heard and Ashlyn Clark.

A cast of more than 100 dancers of all ages gathers on stage for the big “Joy to the World” finale at the Susanville City Kickettes’ Christmas Extraordinaire.

Craig and Julie Newton played Santa and Mrs. Claus and Ben Wade, the Susanville Symphony’s artistic director and conductor even played a grace-note filled trumpet solo on “Silent Night” just before the show’s finale.

The show opened with scenes from “The Nutcracker,” and “Toy Story,” before moving on to a dance production of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

Then the Kickettes mixed it up with naughty elves and reindeer before “Santa in the Toy Shop,” featuring a vocal performance by Anne Shermerhorn, directed by Julie Newton.

As always, the two-hour production presented a dazzling mix of dance styles — pre-ballet, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, modern, tumbling, clogging and jazz.

One of the evening’s highlights was the “Soldier Reunited Coming Home” scene featuring Amy Clingensmith and Jacob Clingensmith — a heartwarming tribute of our soldiers serving overseas — before the spectacular “Joy To The World” finale.