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Little dancers get their big break in 'Oz'

"She has had some experience getting over nerves," Kindlon said.

And besides, "The Wizard of Oz" is one of Amy's favorites.

"This is a movie that she loves," Kindlon said.

As Munchkins, the girls will dance and do some singing, including the show's signature "Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead." Cuzdey has gotten used to hearing her students sing the song even when they're not rehearsing for the show.

"The kids are having a blast," she said. "They're giving me everything they've got."

They even managed to get together for rehearsal when the recent ice storm knocked out power to the dance studio. One of the girl's father's had built a small dance room in the basement of his house, so Cuzdey and the girls worked on their moves there.

Jolie Bell, a fifth-grader at Clarksville Elementary, knows that performing for friends and family is going to be different than dancing in front of thousands at Proctors. A dancer since she was 3, 10-year-old Jolie admitted she's a little nervous " she's never taken the stage at someplace as big as Proctors.

She's excited, though, for the chance to meet Toto after the show, and she's enjoyed working with the professional actors.

"They all have been very nice to us," she said.

In addition to Jolie and Amy, the girls playing Munchkins are Chezmin Sheehan, Hannah Valiquette and Allison Goetz of Clifton Park, Mackenzie Quinn of Guilderland, Brooke Colletti of Ravena, Whitney Wilson of Avrill Park, Elizabeth Deyo of Schenectady and Kayleigh McClean, Madison VanCott and Lauren Muia of Colonie.

"The Wizard of Oz" will be held on the Mainstage at Proctors on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 26 and 27, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 28, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20, $30, $40 and $50. To buy tickets, call Proctors' box office at 346-6204 or visit proctors.org.

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