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‘Story of the Nutcracker’ Is Holiday Tradition

Serafin Kafel as The Nutcracker and Kewe Sanford as Clara rehearse the Sugarplum Tea Party scene for Studio 29 Dance Centre’s upcoming production ‘The Story of the Nutcracker.’ Courtesy photo

As Jenn Moore pondered this year’s Studio 29 Dance Centre’s production of “The Story of the Nutcracker,” realization set in.

“I have new girls in every role,” she said. “I don’t think that’s happened since the first time I started doing this ballet.”

As a director, that can be stressful, which Moore admitted was one of the first feelings to cross her mind, but as the girls began to step into their roles and make them their own, the stress evaporated. “These dancers are seeing their new roles as opportunities,” Moore said. “So they’ve come in to the rehearsals and brought their best selves and have put in the work that it takes to make this a great production.”

“The Story of the Nutcracker” is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Burnet High School auditorium, 1000 The Green Mile. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for ages 2 and older. Burnet Consolidated Independent School District students and staff get in for $7.

Tickets are available at the dance studio, 1002 N. Water St. (U.S. 281), Suite 3, from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, or at the door before each performance.

The Burnet High School Highlandettes dance squad hosts the performances and also performs in “The Waltz of the Snowflakes.”

Moore first directed “The Story of the Nutcracker” in 2006 in Burnet, a year before she opened the dance studio. While it’s a daunting task for her, the dancers, and the dancers’ parents, Moore and her students look forward to the show.

“I receive emails every year from people who aren’t originally from Burnet, and they want to see our performance of ‘The Nutcracker’ because they’ve heard about it and people who’ve seen it tell them they can’t miss it,” Moore said. “I feel like we’re part of the holiday tradition here in Burnet and the area.”

The Studio 29 performance draws a lot of “returners” to the audience who don’t have any personal connection with the dance center — they just love the show. Over the years, Moore and the audience have seen many of the dancers grow up through “The Nutcracker.”

When Moore opened the studio in 2007, she would hold rehearsals in the dance studio but noticed the dancers’ younger siblings “rehearsing” as well in the waiting area, sharing roles and just emulating their older sisters. Over the years, some of those youth have begun taking lessons and become part of “The Story of the Nutcracker.”

“It great to see those younger family members get interested in dance from ‘The Nutcracker,’ and now, some are taking lessons and are a part of ‘Nutcracker,’” Moore said.

While Studio 29 Dance Centre’s production closely follows “The Nutcracker” storyline, they do change up the first act a bit. And with the dancers taking on different roles from year to year, it makes each performance unique and special.

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