Congratulations to the cast of DDC’s Noccalula’s Fall

Downtown Dance Conservatory’s

Noccalula’s Fall 2020

The LEGEND OF NOCCALULA came from these early times. Originally known as Black Creek Falls, the legend, as written by Mathilde Bilbro, says that “long ago, on a mountain summit within sight and sound of a rushing waterfall, lived a great Indian Chief whose young daughter, Noccalula, was famed far and wide for her beauty and loveliness of character. Many gallant braves sought the old chief for the hand of Noccalula, but only one was favored by the girl’s father, a rich chief of a powerful neighboring tribe, who had much to offer in exchange: wampum, horses, blankets. Vainly Noccalula pleaded that her heart was already given to a young brave of her own tribe. But this young warrior, though noted for his skill and valor, possessed but little in worldly goods.  The old chief refused to listen and ordered his daughter to make ready for the marriage he had arranged. What was a maiden’s silly fancy against many horses, much wampum, and union with another strong tribe? The girl’s lover was driven from the tribe, and a marriage agreement was made with the neighboring chief.

        The wedding day came and a great feast was prepared. In silence, Noccalula allowed herself to be arrayed in festive wedding robes. It was incredible! To be sold to a stranger by the father she loved! Her chosen lover forever banished! Overcome with grief, she quietly slipped away from the merrymakers during the festivities…….the soft rhythmical rush of waters called her…..a moment she stood poised upon the brink of the yawning chasm. One leap–and her troubles were over.”

     She awoke with the sounds of the great waterfall rushing in her ears. Was this the end? Every muscle in her body ached.  Her eyes opened. She pushed up slowly from the rock upon where she had landed.  The ground was wet and cold, and her senses told her that something was strange and new. The cave beneath did not look the same as before.  Her mind flew back to the days when she had hunted and played beneath the gorge as a young child, but now there was a glow she had never seen before.  Strange markings that were never there.  She began to realize she was not alone in the cave.

As she came to her senses, she noticed strange shadows moving about.  Focusing her eyes as much as could, the forms began to shift and take shape.  They were the figures of women surrounding her.  But these were not the women of her village.  Their lines and clothes were something unfamiliar, something she had heard about in the gatherings of her people. The fires always seemed brighter at the mention of their name.

They were the Nunnehi.  A race of spirits known to appear to the Cherokee people in their time of great need.  She had imagined then as beautiful, but they were more than she could have even fathomed. 

      She began to stand as they circled, the queens and their Nunnehi. The rocks were slick, and her footing light.  The pulse of the elders ran through her veins. She knew they were here to show her the way. She was alive, by some miracle, and the next steps she took were going to be as great as the leap she had just taken.

Original legend written by Anne Mathilde Bilbro. Adaptation by Linze Rickles McRae.

Nunnehi Queens

Nunnehi Queens


Mist Woman– McCain Foster

Siren Woman– Kate Kiani

Wind Woman– Emma Martin

Shadow Woman– Kelsey Durham

Changing Woman– Azalea McRae

Rain Woman– Caroline Partridge


Shining Woman– Casey Rickles

Star Catcher Woman– Emma Kamran

Dream Weaver Woman– Abby Claire Morrison

Twilight Woman– Emily McDaniel

Sunset Woman– Samantha Lacy

Morning Star Woman– Ellie Parris


Red Wolf Woman– Catherine Haynes

Deer Woman– Lindsey Cotton

Fire Woman– Annsleigh Hamm

Wildflower Woman– Sara Catheryne Freeman

Willow Woman– Madison Nelson

Moss Woman– Stella Day

Young Noccalula – Zoe Morgan

Junior Dance Artist Nunnehi-

Shining– Sadie Riley, Joanna Rayburn, Grace Floyd, Gabby Kiani

Earth– Clare Goodwin, Libby Freeman, Romie Means, Madelyn Strain, Kaela Snead

Water– Annie Bales, Alena Karim, Kacey Watts, Mary Ann Rickles

Upper School Gamma Level Nunnehi

Shining– Betsy Howard, Grace Cotton, Olivia Roberg, Abigail Brock

Earth– Ansley Wilborn, Cate Larkin, Kylie Swinford, Udo Osuji, Georgia Jackson

Water– Allison Haller, Peyton Wade, Uche Osuji, Ella Dupree, Emily Ann Price

Upper School Beta Level- Thunderbird Nunnehi

 Harper Beaird, Hannah Brown, Rania Chandra, Myra Ernest, Laney Ewing, Emerald Green, Ava Nicholson, Ryleigh Rains, Melisa Sanchez, Elle Sims, Baylor Wilborn, Shannon Hayes, Sarah McFarling, Janie Ayres, Kimberly Cornelius

Upper School Alpha Level North Wind Nunnehi

Natalie Blevins, Sayde Bryant, Sarah Jones, Bailee Kimbril, Alexa Morgan, Avery Parker, Riley Grace Porter, Jessica Roberg, Samantha Sarmiento, Madison Stover, Lilly Troncale, Alyssa Tumlin, Kiersten White, Lauryn Swinford


Monday Imagidance I- Turtles– Sadie Copeland, Adley Drummons, Andi Duncan, Aubri Keeper, Josephine Leach, Reagan Lowe, Claire Taylor, Ar’mani Rose Jones

Tuesday Imagidance I- Gemstones– Caroline Coleman, Oaklynn Cotton, Stella Gray, Ryann Greer, Parker Hamby, Laila Holderfield, Zoe Jimenez, Athena Kelton, Bree Knight, Amelia Robertson, Kate Rogers

Thursday Imagidance I- Cherokee Roses– Darbi Beaird, Vivian Hare, Caris Hughes, Abby Litteral, Parker Mitchell, Kyra Moore, Kiely Mummert, Anna Lea O’Bryant, Vera Perman, Miley Jo Roberts, Charly Teal, Bristol Tubb

Monday Imagidance II- Swallows– Josalee Baty, Layla Boyd, Ava Dudley, Zoey Fuller, Lyza Garrard, Kyleigh Hames, Nora Hughes, Peighton Myers, Emma Grace Owens, Leora Summerhill, Kalia Washburn, Hannah Day

Tuesday Imagidance II- Fiddlehead Ferns– Elora Jane Crosson, Quinn Darden, Raelyn Estes, Olivia Fell, Meah Finley, Aivah Hamilton, Lorelei Morrow, Liliana Summerford, Sara Kate Thornburg, Liz Turnipseed

Wednesday Imagidance II- Tug of War Rabbits– Elizabeth Arthur, Nora Ashley, Sunny Barber, Asher Collins, Emily Hannah, Clementine Hilburn, Lily Hindsman, Elizabeth Holland, Lennon Johnson, Grace Lancaster, Catherine Moore, Sedona Toledano, McKinnon Vaughn, Mellie Vaughn, Camille Wigley

Monday Primary- Indian Paintbrush– Avery Barrett, Clara Byers, Piper Cotton, Baylee Crossley, Hallie Ford, Ellie Gilliland, Mallory Hood, Lydia Horton, Emmi Keeper, Sadie Grace Landrum, Layla Marbut, Mia McClain, Lee Caroline Miller, MinLan Parris, Ava Phillips, Aubrey Roberson, Aisha Teusink

Wednesday Primary- Sunset Foxes– Charlotte Bailey, Camille Calvert, Catherine Chandler, Elyse Ganshaw, Miller Gilbert, Charlie Goforth, Annabelle Martin, Neely Parris, Everly Ray, Frances Robinson, Ruby Walker, Jane Wilson, Peyton Wright

Thursday Pre-Primary- Salamanders– Sadie Alldredge, Marly Barron, Ella Kate Basinger, Crimson Bullington, Cassie Copeland, Addie Foster, Violet Glenn, Rainn Graves, Cordelia Hayes, Eriellie Herren, Blakely Johnson, Ellie Stephens, Sarah Grace Teal

Wednesday Grade 1- Starlight Hummingbirds– Dylan Barber, Emma Browning, Isabella Burgess, Ella Edwards, Smith Gilmer, Mae Greer, Julia Haller, Ellen Hill, Zoe Kinney, Eleanor Simmons, Amelia Sutton, Katelyn Uy, Mary Frances Walker, Laney Claire Wigley, Evelyn Wilson, Virginia Wilson, Kambrie Womack, Mary Catherine Yother

Thursday Grade 1- Colors of the Mist– Rhiannon Attaway, Leigh Barber, Sable Beaird, Karsten Campbell, Hannah Chandler, Naira Chandra, Andie Clayton Parrish, Ruby Glenn, Luna Hughes, Kaelynn Kinard, Harper Knowles, Mia Peck, Sadie Powell, Sophie Mei Woods

Monday Grade 2- Shooting Star Stags– Wattsie Alexander, Addi Amos, Elise Beck, Stella Boozer, Enslee Bryant, Anna Kate Casey, Brilee Conaway, Ava Marie Davis, Blakely Ford, Reagan Hood, Miaya Myers, Evangeline Nelson, Brylee Roper, Allie Walden

Tuesday Grade 2- Dreamcatchers– Neveah Felipe, Ella Greer, Zikora Obi-Akubue, Alice Phillips, Nila Rameshkumar, Harper Robertson, Nora Stanton, Chloe Vogel

Tuesday Grade 3- Shawl Dancers– Jorja Brewer, Kylar Ellison, Jillian Greene, Lucy Brynn Griggs, Aubrie Holderfield, Olivia Lipscomb, Ella Loyd, Anslee Mack, Aubrey Kate Newton, Olivia Parker, Addie Peppers, Elle Ray, Molly Reynolds, Madisyn Smith, Ann Elizabeth Vaughn, Claire Wilson, Lauren Wilson, Calleigh Wood

Thursday Grade 3- Willow Branches– Allison Ash, Zoe Basinger, Katherine DeGaetano, Abigail Ford, Marie Giles, Jamey Kelley, Brylee Kilgore, Sophee Tuiolosega, Natalie Wagner, Margaret Collier Wilborn

Monday Grade 4- Scarlett Butterflies– Ava Farley, Kyrsten Gossett, Iris Isbell, Lillie Justice, Darshana Lama, Caroline Lee, Madilyn Lumpkin, Avah Millican, Addison Taylor, Mayah Watwood

Monday Grade 5- Starfeathers– Isabella Childress, Marlena Dupree, Mary Carleton Gilbert, Bella Hill, Brooke Jackson, Ruby Jones, Malayia McCants, Eve McRae, Lilly Ostendorf, McKenzie Staton, Miranda Strain, Mia Talbot, Naomi Taylor, Coley Webb, Emily Wilborn

Tuesday Grade 5- Wisteria– Ava Anderson, Isabella Childress, Adrianna Davis, Marlena Dupree, Avery Estes, Ava Frachiseur, Hannah Mayhall, Eve McRae, Alexandra Mitchell, Lilly Ostendorf, Ruby Kate Parris, Miranda Strain, Emily Wilborn, Madelyn Wilkins

Lower Contemporary I- Constellations– Jorja  Brewer, Kylar Ellison, Lucy Brynn Griggs, Ella Loyd, Aubrey Kate Newton, Alice Phillips, Harper Robertson, Madisyn Smith, Nora Stanton, Ann Elizabeth Vaughn, Chloe Vogel, Natalie Wagner, Claire Wilson, Lauren Wilson, Calleigh Wood

Lower Contemporary II- Coyotes– Ava Anderson, Isabella Childress, Avery Estes, Ava Frachiseur, Mary Carleton Gilbert, Bella Hill, Brooke Jackson, Ruby Jones, Lillie Justice, Madilyn Lumpkin, Lilly Ostendorf, Ruby Kate Parris, McKenzie Staton, Miranda Strain, Mia Talbot, Addison Taylor, Naomi Taylor, Coley Webb, Emily Wilborn, Eve McRae

Classical Tap/Character I- Thunderbird Raindancers– Wattsie Alexander, Addi Amos, Allison Ash, Stella Boozer, Jorja Brewer, Anna Kate Casey, Kylar Ellison, Blakely Ford, Lucy Brynn Griggs, Ella Loyd, Evangeline Nelson, Zikora Obi-Akubue, Alice Phillips, Ann Elizabeth Vaughn, Natalie Wagner, Allie Walden, Margaret Collier Wilborn, Claire Wilson, Lauren Wilson, Kate Degaetano

Classical Tap/Character II- Warriors– Ava Anderson, Isabella Childress, Marlena Dupree, Avery Estes, Ava Farley, Ava Frachiseur, Mary Carleton Gilbert, Brooke Jackson, Ruby Jones, Darshana Lama, Madilyn Lumpkin, Avah Millican, Lilly Ostendorf, Ruby Kate Parris, Miranda Strain, Addison Taylor, Emily Wilborn, Madelyn Wilkins, Eve McRae

Upper Contemporary I Spring Dwellers – Harper Beaird, Natalie Blevins, Hannah Brown, Sayde Bryant, Myra Ernest, Emerald Green, Alexa Morgan, Ava Nicholson, Ryleigh Rains, Jessica Roberg, Melisa Sanchez, Lauryn Swinford, Lilly Troncale, Kiersten White, Baylor Wilborn, Shannon Hayes, Kimberly Cornelius, Laney Ewing, Janie Ayres, Sarah McFarling

Upper Contemporary II Orb Weavers – Abigail Brock, Grace Cotton, Grace Floyd, Libby Freeman, Georgia Jackson, Alena Karim, Cate Larkin, Romie Means, Zoe Morgan, Sadie Riley, Olivia Roberg, Madelyn Strain, Kacey Watts, Ansley Wilborn, Mary Ann Rickles, Betsy Howard, Peyton Wade, Annie Bales, Joanna Rayburn, Emily Ann Price, Kylie Swinford, Kaela Snead, Clare Goodwin