Nutcracker in Ocean City
The Performing Arts Center seats were crowded with patrons anticipating a lovely show. The Sussex Dance Academy did not disappoint! Bringing together 65 children and young adults from the surrounding area for the traditional Nutcracker ballet was not an easy feat, but The Academy dancers were superb. The youngest performer was six year old and all others were no older than 18.
Auditions for the Nutcracker
Auditions for the Nutcracker were held last Saturday in August, from there, Nutcracker rehearsal was every Saturday starting Mid-September. The cast is all youth with exception of guest artist, Scott Weber, who plays the Snow King. The Academy needed to bring Weber in to play the Snow King due to lack of male dancers during the Nutcracker performance time. Weber trained at the Conservatoire National de Paris, Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre.
Scott Weber credits include performances on Broadway; as a principal dancer for the Metropolitan Opera, Les Ballets Trockadero, and Boston BalletII; and in The Greatest Showman.
“The most stressful part of the preparation from this year’s performance was waiting for our dancers to practice with Scott. Our dancers only met with him the Friday before our performances the same weekend.,” said Kate Walker, Artist Director. Watching the performance, the time Weber and the Sussex dancers spent together was fruitful and their joint time on stage wowed the crowd!
The dancers were all very excited the day of the Performing Arts Center performance.
Stella Caldwell(right), 14 years old, a ninth grader in Georgetown, DE was the Sugar Plum Fairy, pictured here behind stage with Grace Riddle(middle), and Sydney Mundok (left). Here they are getting ready for the performance. Stella is prepping to dress as her additional part as a Snowflake. Stella has been dancing with Sussex Dance Academy for five years.
Grace Riddle, 13 years old, seventh grader, plays Clara.
Sydney Mundok, 16 years old, 11th grader, plays Snow Queen.
When asked what the performers were most excited about the answers were varied. Here are a few responses we received.:
“I am excited for my solo and being on stage performing for family and friends. I am so excited for them to see what we have worked so long and hard for.” ~Stella Caldwell
“I am excited to be on stage with my friends, and to show everyone what we have been working on for so long.” ~Sydney Mundok
“I am excited for the battle scene, because of all the acting that it needs.” ~ Grace Riddle.
Lorilyn and Lannah O’Day
Two sisters, Lorilyn and Lannah O’Day answered the question together and were hopping as they answered, “The candy cane dance! It makes our hearts beat really fast, and we get to do cartwheels.”
Overall the performers and the audience enjoyed their time, and when next year comes around, make sure you go see The Nutcracker brought to you by Sussex Dance Academy.