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200 Local Kids To Perform The Nutcracker

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EUGENE, Ore. — If you’re needing ideas for things to do with the family this holiday weekend we’ve got the perfect treat.

More than 200 local kids are performing the Nutcracker at Lane Community College this weekend. KEZI 9 News caught up with the dancers as they rehearsed and prepared for this great holiday tradition.

It’s a tale that dates back to the late 1800s.

“The story is about a little girl who gets a toy nutcracker and that is Clara,” said Clarissa Sprague.

Sprague plays that little girl whose nutcracker comes to life. “I have been working really hard to practice on point shoes,” added Sprague. “I also have been having to learn all the steps and the musical counts and the acting.”

“We put a lot of effort into it and there are long days of working,” said Nathan Rowell who plays the Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker is the most widely performed ballet in the world. Now more than 200 local kids are bringing it to Lane Community College.

To make sure they’re on point, dance instructors started the rehearsals back in September.

“I think it is a really good experience to do ballet,” said Rowell.

Some of the dancers took up dancing not too long after walking.

“I have been dancing for 11 years,” said Anne Walkup who plays Clara and a toy doll.

To put on productions like this the Oregon Ballet Academy depends on its non-profit The Oregon Ballet Foundation. This year it says the donations were extremely generous.

“That helps us get nice backdrops and better costumes, so we really appreciate that,” said Oregon Ballet Academy Administrative Director Megan Murphy.

The four performances run this weekend only. Each is a little different because new leads take over in each performance.

“I am really excited and a little bit nervous too,” said Sprague.

“It’s a really fun Christmas tradition,” added Walkup. “I like to go to the Nutcracker and watch it with my family every year and everyone thinks of it as the Christmas tradition.”

“There’s so many things that make it beneficial. Whether you’re going to be a professional dancer, there’s just so much to gain,” said Murphy.

So when you’re all shopped out and eaten enough stuffing for the year, you may want to consider entering the the land of sweets, where sugar plum fairies dance through our dreams and a nutcracker can bring our fairy tales to life.

Click here for more information on The Oregon Ballet Academy.

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