FALL RIVER: Emily Turple is showing that hard work pays off.

In just two years, the 13-year-old Fall River girl has gone from playing the role of a simple party guest in Nutcracker to the lead role of Clara when the Coastal Dance Theatre performance hits the stage for four shows over three days Dec. 2,3, and Dec. 4. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Dec 2; 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3; and 2 p.m. only on Dec. 4.

Turple will comprise the role of Clara during the Dec. 2 and 4 shows.

“I feel this role is very fun and for all ages who are young at heart,” said Turple, a student at Georges P. Vanier Junior High. “Clara is supposedly a nine-year-old girl having a Christmas party, so I feel that Clara is suited to a bubbly personality.”

She said the role of Clara means a lot to her.

“I was surprised when I found out I was the lead,” she said. “My role has advanced from a little party guest to the lead role of Clara within a span of two years. I am very proud to have this role and I have worked hard for it.”

Turple said she has been practicing nine to 10 hours every weekend, and using spare time during the week to go over her lines to ensure she has them down pat.

“My motivation to be Clara in the Nutcracker is to make the past Clara’s impressed and to make them think that it was a good choice to make me the lead,” she said. “This experience is making me a better dancer and actor and it expands my range of emotion.”

She said if there’s anything the performance will do it will be to get people in the holly jolly feeling.

“This show will bring the Christmas mood into families and get the community into the Christmas spirit,” said Turple.

Coastal Dance Theatre presents Nutcracker 2016 from Dec. 2-4 at the Alderney Landing Theatre in Dartmouth. Tickets are $18 for adults and $13 for 12 and under. Reserved seating at and 1-888-311-9090.