Nutcracker excitement

A wintry mix of tutus and pointe shoes


Photo by Kaitlyn Gordon

Dancers featured in “Thr Nutcracker” practice during dress rehearsal. Participants practiced for months for the show.

Story by Cameron Murry , staff writer

Pointe shoes tap across the wooden stage as boys and girls portray a special Christmas scene. Snowflakes and Spanish dancers turn round and round as the music plays out. This is what dancers look forward to all year. This is “The Nutcracker.”

For decades, “The Nutcracker” has been a Texarkana holiday tradition. This year, the performance dates are Nov. 30 at 7 p.m., Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $6-$10.

Dancers look forward to the show each year as a time to showcase their strengths and collaborate with other dancers.

“I’ve done [The Nutcracker] since I was in third grade; this is my ninth year,” junior Madison Bowers said. “My favorite thing about Nutcracker is getting to see people from all over the area that you normally don’t get to see. I have a lot of friends that take [dance] at other studios and I really don’t have any other interaction with them any other time in the year, but once Nutcracker week starts, you get to see them a lot and catch up with each other.”

The various parts in “The Nutcracker” help tell the story of a girl lost in an enchanted Christmas dream. From mice to Spanish dancers, each dance group represents an element in Clara’s dream.

“This year I’m a reed flute,” Bowers said. “We’re called marzipans. We are supposed to be very technically strong. I was a reed flute last year and it was a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to doing it again.”

These talented dancers use “The Nutcracker” as a place to exhibit their finely-tuned ballet skills and coordinate with various dancers on stage. Despite stagefright and anxious jittering, dancers look forward to showing the audience what they’ve worked so hard on.

“I feel kind of anxious in a good way and bad way,” junior Travawyn Taylor said. “I’m kind of nervous, but also ready to show everyone what I’ve been working on. It’s hard at the beginning because of the nonstop practice every week, but it feels really good when you all dance together on stage.”

Dancers’ roles in “The Nutcracker” are given at auditions held in late summer every year. The roles come with distinct styles of dance and music.

“[I’m a] demi soloist for flowers,” freshman Olivia Grace George said. “I love getting to meet dancers from other studios and getting to bond with them over [The] Nutcracker.”

“The Nutcracker” participants come from Texarkana and surrounding dance studios. This provides dancers with the opportunity to make new friends and collaborate.