Prep dancers join the holiday tradition of “The Nutcracker”

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Victoria Chough
Dancers perform holiday classic “The Nutcracker” at Thalia Mara Hall.

This holiday season, both Ballet Mississippi and Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet performed their renditions of The Nutcracker. While their artistic interpretations may be different, both studios have multiple dancers from Jackson Prep that performed in the show. Rehearsals started shortly after auditions in September, and the dancers worked very hard to perfect their show for performances in early December.

“The most rewarding part about performing is probably just the excitement that comes from being nervous and happy at the same time. ”

— Madeline Page

Ballet Mississippi held their production in Thalia Mara Hall from December 7th-9th and included Prep’s Kimberly Blount, Caroline Yelverton, Isabella Overby, and Eliza Burnham in the cast. People of all ages participate in this production each year, with different roles designed for different levels of skill and age. Each ballerina was filled with grace and beauty on the stage and had beautiful costumes as well as sets to draw your eye. The dancers had great energy and stage presence, which pulled you into their movement and the plot of the story. This year, Ballet Mississippi dedicated their production to Frances Anne Fortner, a member of their studio who unfortunately passed away earlier this year in a car accident. 

From December 8th-9th, Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet performed The Nutcracker at Jackson Academy. Although their performance location was at our “rival school,” Emerson Busin, Mason Deas, Hart Maley, Sophia Malone, and Madeline Page from Prep were a part of the cast. Similar to Ballet Mississippi, Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet includes many roles for different ages,which makes it a very welcoming environment for all dancers. Costumes and set design were breathtaking, and the dancing was beautiful as well. Even though the story is the same every year, it’s hard to get tired of it because of the way each person handles the character they’re given and the personality that the dancers put on stage. Madeline Page, a ninth grader who was given multiple roles such as a Spanish dancer and a Mirliton this year, said, “The most rewarding part about performing is probably just the excitement that comes from being nervous and happy at the same time. I love getting to wear all of the costumes and putting on a lot of makeup to perform also!”