Winchester ‘Wizard of Oz’ dancers dazzle audiences at Campbell

Published 11:27 am Thursday, May 11, 2023

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Guests filled the auditorium at Robert D. Campbell Jr. High last weekend for Winchester Christian Ballet’s (WCB) first-ever production of “The Wizard of Oz.”

The production featured 22 dances that were choreographed by WCB Artistic Director Samantha Koon, along with the school’s new sound and light system. All dances were based on the story written by L. Frank Baum in 1900 and turned into a beloved movie.

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After months of practice, the dancers erupted with cheers and hugged one another when the curtains closed on Sunday.

“It’s a favorite story of many people because it’s about developing the courage, kindheartedness, wisdom, and gratefulness that young people need to learn as they grow up,” said Diane Osbourn, who sewed the dancer’s costumes.

Everyone at WCB worked together to make it a success. Studio Director Rhonda Geogerian ordered Wizard of Oz T-shirts and water bottles. Mark Tarry and Smith Perkins constructed a well, a rotating house with platforms on wheels and a fence of corn. Sets featured paintings by Kristin Tarry and Kevin Osbourn.

Dorothy was played by 17-year-old Ginny Osbourn, who overcame a February foot injury requiring six weeks of physical therapy. Other main characters included the Scarecrow, played by Autumn Geogerian, Tin Woodsman by Mary Temprano, Lion by Lily Higgins, Wicked Witch by Mady Stotts, Glinda the Good Witch by Jaidyn Nashick and the Wizard of Oz by Deven Cecil.

The Lullaby League and Angry Trees included Evelyn Fairchild, Eva Bellamy, Dorothy Thacker, Anne Thacker, and Kaiya Ighodaro. Poppy field and Emerald City scenes featured dancers Corinne Hammond, Amaya White, Marika Verenchuk, Karina Klaczynski, Audrey Sparks and Erin Zappa. Rainbow, Snow, Flying Monkeys and Cyclone scenes involved Madisyn Keesee, Bess Hammond, Audrey Sparks, Erin Zappa, Becca Sparks and Corinne Hammond.

The younger dancers were spotlighted as Emerald Babies (Henrietta Horton, Kylee Oney, and Zoey Cox); Munchkins (Savannah Patton, Zelie Carroll, Eloise Keltner, Maddie Dennis, Addie King, Nicole Parr, Jocelyn Thalacker, Briella Unger, Gwen Crum, and Hunter Pritchard; Lambs (Kendra Cox, and Zelie Thacker; Lollipop Kids (Ellie Masters, Pepper Masters, Annalise Mills, Jessa Jefferson, Mabel Pomeroy, Reagan Joynt, Joslin Price, Kollyn Lane, Abree Baldanza, Lyla Tarry, Kaylin Thompson, Evelyn Joynt and Jasmine Coffey; Monkeys (Kasey Pace, Lyla Jordan, Harleigh Newsome, Adalie Barnett, and Sofia Verenchuk).

The entire performance was dedicated to the late Kristy Nickell, who served as studio treasurer for five years and was instrumental in setting up WCB as a non-profit organization. “Kristy had a servant’s heart, and her life was a clear reflection of her relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Rhonda Geogerian.

WCB is offering summer classes with discounts to current dancers and the public. Learn more at