Giving the Magic of The Nutcracker to Las Vegas' Students

By Terane Comito, Director of Education & Outreach at Nevada Ballet Theatre. Photo by Virginia Trudeau.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016.

I can’t imagine my life without the magic of The Nutcracker in it. The Nutcracker has been a part of my life since I was a very young child; it is a tradition for me. So each year when Nevada Ballet Theatre (NBT) invites thousands of Clark County school children into special matinee performances of The Nutcracker, nothing can explain the pride and excitement I feel in helping to make that happen.

The cornerstone of Nevada Ballet Theatre’s Education and Outreach is our GO-MOVE-DANCE!!! program, currently in 16 underserved CCSD elementary schools. This provides free, in-school dance instruction by our faculty of highly trained teaching artists. As part of the program, students are able to see our professional productions at no cost. This year, over 3,000 students from GO-MOVE-DANCE!!! as well as students throughout CCSD attended The Nutcracker during two school matinees at The Smith Center. The looks on their faces as they exited the theater was truly priceless. And it is one of the best parts of what I do.

Afterward, I always receive letters from students telling me how beautiful the production was, and that it was like a fairytale coming to life. But a special reward for me happens when our Outreach efforts come full circle, and some of those GO-MOVE-DANCE!!! students become Future Dance Scholars. They also sometimes find themselves on stage the following year performing alongside our professional company in productions like The Nutcracker.

The joy I feel is truly magical when I watch children discover The Nutcracker for the first time, especially when that discovery turns into a passion to work hard and dance in the production that inspired them.  I hope that you and your loved ones can experience the magic of The Nutcracker for yourselves, and see the excitement in the eyes of our future generations as they watch the beauty unfold on stage.

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