‘The Nutcracker' spreads holiday spirit in Kutztown

Patriot photos by Scott Weldon Marilyn's Dance Studio presents "The Nutcracker" Saturday, Dec. 7 at Kutztown Senior High School. Micaela Hulsebos the Forest Queen, Mackenzie Heagy the Sugarplum Fairy, Amanda Bialek the Snow Queen, and Olivia Sica the Pine Tree.
Patriot photos by Scott Weldon Marilyn's Dance Studio presents "The Nutcracker" Saturday, Dec. 7 at Kutztown Senior High School.

Ballet helps put people into the holiday spirit.

Marilyn’s Dance Studio’s “The Nutcracker” features 70 dancers and family members on Dec. 7 and 8.

“The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition that goes back to the late 19th century,” said Pam Heid, owner, Marilyn’s Dance Studio, Kutztown.

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Adapted from the story, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Heid said, “The Nutcracker is a bright, colorful, joyful ballet that puts people in a holiday mood.”

Performances are 4 p.m. Dec. 7 and 2 p.m. Dec. 8 at Kutztown Senior High School. Purchase tickets at the door.

“We do The Nutcracker every other year, so it is biennial,” she said. “Hopefully, the community will gain an appreciation of ballet, Tchaikovsky’s music, and the hard work put into this by all cast members.”

The cast includes about 70 dancers, as well as 17 family members and friends. Cast members range in age from 7 to their early 60s.

“We hope the dancers gain a sense of accomplishment and pride, as well as bettering their ballet technique through the additional dancing they have done since late July,” said Heid. “The dancers had to learn how to collaborate with other dancers, dancers from other studios, and members of the community.”

Ballet teacher, Priscilla Knight, is the choreographer and director.

“This production really is a family affair,” said Heid.

Priscilla’s daughter is the rehearsal assistant and a member of the cast. Several dancers in the first act have their mothers or fathers portraying their parents in the “party scene.”

“In the battle scene, we have two of the mouse generals fighting the toy soldiers, who are in reality, their mothers,” she said. “The entire Schnell family - Mom, Dad, and two daughters- are participating in this year’s show.”

Dancers from Culture Shock in Hamburg are members of the cast, along with their teacher, Hannah Wolfinger. There are several girls who were students at Marilyn’s Dance Studio from preschool age through their senior year in high school.

“They are now in college or out in the workforce, but they still take ballet and perform in The Nutcracker,” said Heid.

Marilyn’s Dance Studio’s “The Nutcracker” will be Saturday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. at Kutztown Senior High School. Purchase tickets at the door.

About the Author

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at lmitchell@berksmontnews.com or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.