M'Lanie Hunter Dance to perform Nutcracker Ballet Dec. 8 and 9

M'Lanie Hunter Dance to perform Nutcracker Ballet Dec. 8 and 9

One of the highlights is the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Both have taken part in The Studio's previous "Nutcracker" productions, dancing a wide range of roles from snowflakes and party scene soloists to the story's main characters of Clara and Drosselmeyer.

"It has elements of grace and beauty, but also the craziness of a snow storm", she says. "She's definitely pre-professional".

Just like football players vying for a playoff spot at this time of year, scores of local ballerinas are prepping their pirouettes as they practice for perfection for the upcoming Nutcracker season.

"The students of the ABT Gillespie School are receiving pre-professional training, which means they are not only fine-tuning technical skill but also are aware that they are learning an art form where their creativity is encouraged", Haubert said.

Mark Dalton, 15, of Mohrsville portrays the Nutcracker, his second year in this role. Mitchell McCroskey, from Kansas, will dance Tumbleweed, a challenging gymnastic role.

"They're kind to the children". "We send them out on the stage, sometimes for the very first time in their lives". "For me, it reflects on how far I have come as a dancer and the confidence that my dance teacher has in me to be able to handle and perform this role".

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We then begin Act II, where the Nutcracker has transformed into a handsome prince and leads Clara on a magical journey through the Lands of Snow and candies. One regular, Christopher McNamara, is a police officer with the Tucson Police Department.

A scene in which six young snowmen blow snow on The Nutcracker to wake him up after a fight with the fierce Mouse Queen, for instance, is "the sweetest image I've ever seen", she said. "We've hired a lot of new people".

The Dance Prism, meanwhile, will hold a performance December 16 and 17, also at the Collins Center with Madeline Henlin, Annie Hamilton, Olivia Ventre.

"I was terrified, I was so nervous", Krumpe said. A newcomer from Ballet Austin, Michael Erickson, will pair with Jennifer Martin in the Arabian piece, a work that is double-cast.

Behind the heavy velvet curtains, magic is alive in the student dancers, like the boys, who form a line of red toy soldiers, waiting patiently with wooden guns before funneling into a 6-foot-high gift box and being rolled out on stage. These demanding roles are triple-cast; the other sets of partners are Megan Steffens with Vasily Boldin and Laura Lunde with Mauricio Vergara, all of them audience favorites. There are also national dancers who will be coming in such as their cavalier, Ronnie Linez, who has most recently danced at the Colorado Ballet and the Ballet Of San Diego.

Erin has been dancing since she was 8. Her partner will be Leo McGrath, another Ballet Austin alumni.

"It's nice that everybody's together", said Marina.

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