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Special Ballerinas Dance 'The Nutcracker' With The Pros

By Kathy Walsh

DENVER (CBS4) - The Colorado Ballet is coming Together 4 Colorado by working with the Global Down Syndrome Foundation to make ballerinas with Down syndrome shine.

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CBS4's Kathy Walsh interviews Cora Jane and Kristina Penfield. (credit: CBS)

For the fifth year in a row, two young dancers with the condition are joining the professionals performing in "The Nutcracker," a holiday tradition.

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(credit: CBS)

Cora Jane Thompson and Kristina Penfield are in the Be Beautiful Be Yourself dance program for children with their condition. They have been given the amazing opportunity of stepping up to the big time.

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(credit: CBS)

On Thursday, 10-year-old Cora Jane danced in the opening scene of "The Nutcracker."

CBS4's Health Specialist Kathy Walsh asked, "You don't get a little stage fright?"

"No," said Cora Jane.

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(credit: CBS)

On Dec. 14, it is 12-year-old Kristina's turn. "I love to dance," she said.

Michelle Sie Whitten is the foundation's president and mother of Sophia, who has Down syndrome.

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"What the children get out of it is a sense of worth and confidence," said Sie Whitten.

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CBS4's Kathy Walsh interviews Michelle Sie Whitten. (credit: CBS)

The Colorado Ballet has been a partner since 2009.

"It's the greatest joy of my life," said Julie Anderson, Colorado Ballet-Be Beautiful Be Yourself Dance Class instructor.

"I watched Cora Jane from the wings and she was seamless," said Anderson.

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(credit: CBS)

Anderson is certain Kristina will be wonderful, too.

The girls are beautiful and they certainly are not shy about being themselves.

LINKS: Colorado Ballet Global Down Syndrome

Kathy Walsh is CBS4's Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

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