BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – It’s an annual ballet delighting audiences across Raleigh County and beyond for 32 years now. The Beckley Dance Theater School takes the stage at the Woodrow Wilson High School Auditorium for one last performance of a famous late 1800’s Christmas story–the Nutcracker.
Telling the story of Clara and her beloved nutcracker prince, the performance is a history lesson and learning experience wrapped into one for the dancers at the school.
“First of all, the history of what we do, the culture, the mannerisms of the 1800’s, they learn about that, but it’s also important that they dance with professionals,” says Jerry Rose, Artistic Director at the Beckley Dance Theater.
The student dancers get a chance to take classes with professionals making their way from as far as the National Ballet of Canada, and the dancers advance their roles every year, starting as angels, moving up to toy soldiers, and beyond.
After a year without the annual ballet in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opportunity to take the stage this year has been crucial for everyone involved.
“It’s a marvelous feeling, because, you always have that hope of making things work the way they should, and it seems as though they are working the way they should this year,” Rose says.
And the performance has seen a major turnout, from school trips of nearly 2,000 children from Fayette and Raleigh Counties to sold-out shows of crowds ready to watch the classic story come to life once more.
“Here we go, into a new project.”
While the dance theater is wrapping up their Beckley performances of the Nutcracker Ballet, you can catch them on stage again at the Greenbrier Resort Dec. 29-30.
For more information, you can visit the school’s website.