By Rose Luna

Killeen Daily Herald

The Newcomb School of Ballet will showcase its annual spring ballet Saturday at the Vive Les Arts Theatre.

This year's production, "A Princess Tale: Lesedi's Ribbon," is an original script by Killeen native Teffanie Thompson White.

"The story is very special to me, because it's all about women helping women," White said. "Even though there are things that are going poorly in the world, I still see stories about people helping one another, and that's inspiring."

The ballet is centered around Princess Lesedi and her travels through "Newcombia" to a princess convention.

"I think the story is very appealing to all ages because it's not your run-of-the-mill fairy tale," said Renee Gillenwater, artistic director for the ballet. "It's all about girl power."

White named the fairy tale land after the Newcomb School of Ballet, because of the diversity of the girls. She also based many of the characters and situations on the young dancers at the studio.

"You find girls of all shapes, sizes and background," White said. "I've brought friends from Los Angeles and New York to a Newcomb ballet, and they were amazed at the diversity.

I think it's a wonderful representation of Killeen."

Throughout her travels, Princess Lesedi, played by Alyssa Snyder, encounters real-life situations such as poverty, starvation and life-threatening events. Undaunted by the world, she helps each person to the best of her ability, and invites them to join her at the princess convention.

As the group arrives, other princesses refuse to let Princess Lesedi's new friends into their tent.

The other princesses become catty and coy with Princess Lesedi, until she answers a question all princesses – and non-princesses – must answer: What is good?

While other princesses list material possessions as their answer, Princess Lesedi can only think of her new friends.

As they begin to see her charitable demeanor, the other princesses invite Lesedi's new friends and treat them to their riches.

Each princess is awarded a ribbon to symbolize what they are giving to the world as they enter womanhood.

"In this day and age, there's a huge marketing campaign towards every cause out there," White said. "All of the ribbons have deep meaning.

When we see them, it helps us to remember the cause they represent. When the princesses choose their talent and cause, they're assigned the ribbon that designates" that cause.

It was awareness ribbons that sparked the idea for "A Princess Tale" story line, which White hopes to turn into a children's book series.

For her daughter's birthday, White held an awareness party where all her daughter's friends donated piggy-bank change toward a children's cancer foundation.

Gillenwater said the ribbons also play a major role in the finale, which she says is a must-see.

"Without giving the ending away, all I can tell you is that we'll have lots of ribbons," she said.

Saturday's performance will be at 7 p.m. and Sunday's performance will be at 2 p.m. Tickets for the ballet are $10 for adults, $8 for students, and are available at the VLA box office or call 526-9090 or 526-4599.

Contact Rose Luna at or call (254) 501-7469

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