Nutcracker cast and crew set to perform

Julie Calzonetti  

Sugar Beet Staff Reporter

‘Tis the season for festivities and traditions to be celebrated throughout the town, nothing kicks off the holiday season better than ‘The Nutcracker.’ The classic is a biennial production that has been put on since 2002 by Steps Dance School of Garden City, led by Sabrina Rishel, along with about 100 youth dancers.

Preparation for the show began in August, including learning vigorous routines, creating scenery and perfecting every last detail of the elaborate costumes. There are many dances in the two-act show, along with added scenes compared to past Nutcrackers.

Some familiar faces may be recognized on flyers posted throughout the school to get the word out of the upcoming production. Many students are taking part in the show with important roles. Grace Reagle portrays the ‘Snow Queen,’ Allison Neiman is the ‘Rose Queen,’ and Jenna Crook and Jessica Pammenter split the part of the main role, ‘Clara.’ The veteran dancers also take the duty of teaching the steps to the youngsters of the show.

“I teach four dance classes a week and the ages range from six to thirteen,” Reagle, junior dancer, said. Reagle has been dancing since the age of three and has participated in the Nutcracker since 2006.

Needless to say, these teenage dancers have put great dedication into their craft and all have great inspiration for dancing, for example Allison Neiman.

“What got me into dancing was I loved watching professional dancers on stage and wanted to be just like them when I got older,” Neiman sophomore dancer, said.

For many dancers, this will be the end of a long streak of annually participating in the Nutcracker, causing lots of emotion and reminiscing.

“A lot of us began dancing at a really young age and grew up together, we watched each other grow and improve. Looking back on all that we have experienced together makes this show very sentimental, especially since this is my last Nutcracker.” Jenna Crook, sophomore dancer, said.

In addition to Crook, many dancers will be taking their final bow in the coming years A total of seven main cast members will be graduating before the next Nutcracker two years from now, one with an offer to join a ballet school in Denver, Colorado. 

The Nutcracker will take place in the Clifford Hope Auditorium on Dec. 7 at 6 p.m., Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. Tickets are for sale and can also be purchased at the door, adults ages eleven and older admission is $10. Admission for children 10 and under is $6.

Julie Calzonetti is a public service sophomore, you can contact her at

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