HANOVER, Pa. (AP) — Born two years apart, Jennah and Jordan Motter share a lot — the same circle of friends, the same musical tastes.
But now they're sharing the same hobby, too.
Jennah is the dancer in their Hanover family, and has been for 13 years. Last year, she volunteered her brother Jordan to be in the Midstate Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker." After all, they were in desperate need of a male dancer.
As a gymnast, dancing wasn't too far out of 20-year-old Jordan's comfort zone. After playing the Nutcracker Prince last year, he is back to play the villain, the Mouse King.
In the last few years, the brother and sister have shared a lot, but with school and a multitude of other activities, they didn't get to see much of each other. Being in the ballet together has strengthened their bond, they said.
This is Jennah and Jordan's fourth ballet together. They're the only two people in the ballet from Hanover, they said. But the distance is what keeps the two of them close. Early on, before 18-year-old Jennah had her driver's license, the two spent the hour-long trip from Hanover to the Greater York Center for Dance Education in York talking in the car together.
"We've only become close through this studio," Jennah said. "Rehearsals are our one chance to see each other."
The two don't appear on stage together, with Jordan only in one scene as the Mouse King and Jennah in several as a background dancer. The siblings are in back-to-back scenes, which means they attend many rehearsals together.
"I love that he can do this with me," Jennah said.
This year could be their last living and dancing together, as Jordan plans to attend Temple University next fall for a degree in business and Jennah plans to go to college in a major city next year.
Four years ago, Jennah decided to leave her dance studio in Hanover in favor of the Midstate Ballet, which she said offers her a broader dance education. Between classes and practices, she is at the York studio almost every day. Plus, she is cyber schooled, teaches swim classes at the Hanover YMCA and is active in her youth group at Jesus Messiah Evangelical Free Church in Hanover. Her brother's schedule is similar: he takes classes at Harrisburg Area Community College and teaches gymnastics at the Hanover YMCA.
Jennah and Jordan said they love being able to interact with children through dance and teaching classes at the YMCA. As she makes future plans, Jennah is considering a career in teaching, especially kindergarten.
And the children in "The Nutcracker" feel the same way about the Motters. Jordan appears in one scene with several dozen younger dancers, so he spends plenty of time with younger admirers. After one practice, Jordan came home with a stack of drawings done by the younger dancers.
"I love the people here," Jordan said.
At Saturday's rehearsal at the Greater York Center for Dance Education studio, Jordan and the cast practiced the battle scene where the Mouse King is defeated by the Nutcracker Prince.
Jordan, dressed in a mouse headpiece, fell to the ground when the Nutcracker Prince delivered the fatal blow with his sword. He curled up on his back as the young dancers dressed as mice pulled him offstage.
Jordan's scene, he is always defeated by the Nutcracker Prince. But before practicing it, each time, he jokes with his young mouse army.
"I tell them every time we're going to win," he said, laughing.
Information from: The Evening Sun, http://www.eveningsun.com