Waretown Elementary Student Excels in Dance, Performs With Atlantic City Ballet

Connor Linnert's Dreams for the Future Are ‘En Pointe’
Jan 10, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Connor Linnert, 7, of Waretown, is a born performer. One of triplets, he stands out in the family for his passion for dance, which earned him a place in the Atlantic City Ballet’s “Nutcracker” in December. The “amazing opportunity,” as mom Stephanie described it, was Connor’s first taste of professional theater and has whetted his appetite for more.

Following in his sister Symphonie’s footsteps, Connor got involved in dance two years ago, at age 5, under the instruction of Annie Biddar, formerly at Rising Stars Performing Arts Co. in Tuckerton and now at Ovations Dance Academy in Waretown. He studies ballet, tap, jazz and hip-hop.

According to Stephanie, not only does Connor love the stage, but he has always been naturally dexterous and expressive. He learned early how to grip a bottle and use utensils, and he has a pronounced drawing talent. His control of his fine motor skills helps him in the art form of dance.

Describing him as “all show,” his mom said Connor is “always in character at home; he loves the costumes.” He even writes his own choreography and practices for his mom and dad and siblings. “Connor is the outside-the-box kind of child.” He knows what he loves and pursues things wholeheartedly, she said. “There’s no stopping him.”

Connor says he loves dancing because “it inspires me.” And he knows he wants to keep it up for a long time. He aspires to be a dance instructor like his mentor, Ms. Annie.

Biddar and her daughter are both involved with the Atlantic City Ballet, so during casting for “Nutcracker” when the need for boys arose, recruiting Connor was a no-brainer.

For the Linnerts, accepting the part was also a no-brainer, even though it was a pretty big commitment for two months, with a rigorous practice schedule, long drives, late nights and early mornings, not to mention the expense. Performances took place at Stockton University, Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City, and with the Garden State Philharmonic at the Strand Theater in Lakewood.

The Strand is where his parents saw the show, which was sold out.

“We were super proud of him,” his mom said. Dance is an expensive activity, she added, but they will continue to support the kids in their passions as long as they can afford to.

Connor said performing with the Atlantic City Ballet was a lot of hard work but he enjoyed learning and meeting fellow dancers – dozens of other children and many adult role models.

Connor is excited for the release of Disney’s “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” later this year.  —V.F.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.