Nutcracker 209 at the Cabrillo Crocker Theater and Agape Dance Academy is all about
From its inception nearly seven years ago, Agape Dance Academy created for it’s classical dance technique training, the mission statement of, “Training Up Dancers for Great Purposes!” As Owner / Artistic director Melanie Useldinger knew first hand how many hours of sacrifice, discipline, and dedication it takes to create a highly trained classical ballet dancer, she wanted her students to know that impacting the lives of others was an important part of character training that would parallel their intense dance technique training schedules at Agape Dance Academy.
And the blessings just continued to flow with unprecedented growth to five studios with locations throughout Santa Cruz County and a growing cast of superbly trained dancers that now grace the stage in our annual Nutcracker. Though we usually cast our Sugar Plum fairy and cavalier from San Francisco Ballet professional guest artists, this we year were thrilled to have local talent Zaiah Jones and Kelly Beach take us by surprise at our annual auditions in September by performing a stunning presentation of the Nutcracker Grand Pas. Zaiah received his training at the San Francisco Ballet School and danced in the San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker during his time there. Kelly Beach came on board to the faculty of Agape Dance Academy just this year. The couple can be seen in rehearsal with a superb pas de deux rapport and amazing strength in both technique and artistry. We expect nothing less than a stunning performance from this couple who will be coached by San Francisco Ballet Company member Kimberley Olivier.
Agape Dance Academy’s students have been blessed in the academic realms this year as well. It’ a well known fact that serious ballet dancers tend to be high achievers in many areas that they chose to focus on. With the incredible time management skills they must master to progress as dancers, most ballerinas have excellent study skills and the disciplines of training carry over into great academic achievement. Our first graduating Seniors have been accepted to prestigious University programs and are returning as alumni in this year’s performances of the Nutcracker. Aly Ely , who attends the highly acclaimed Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine will return to her former role of Snow Queen with exquisite finesse. She will also debut in an alumni performance of the Grand Pas with Tiffer Aguirre.
All of these wonderful happenings and performances are joined with the blessing of combining with Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services so that all the amazing energy and resources inspired by our Nutcracker performances including its mission and vision for impacting the world around us has found special meaning. A portion of ticket sales and the raffles before and at the performances all go to support this amazing organization!
Audiences will be amazed by both the superb quality of The Agape Dance Academy 2018 Nutcracker and the spirit of the dancers and the surrounding community. They will be touched not only with the beauty of snow scenes, Tchaikovsky’s timeless musical score, costumes and choreography, but also the special touch of ballerinas that dance for great purposes and in doing so lift the human hearts of many!