El Paso children dance alongside professionals in ‘The Great Russian Nutcracker’


For 26 years, the ballet has helped local dancers achieve their dreams and be part of one of the world’s biggest acts.


This weekend, the Moscow Ballet presents “The Great Russian Nutcracker” and each year it gives local dancers a rare opportunity to audition, rehearse, and perform with professionals through the “Dance With Us” program.


The kids go through an audition process and get picked by a Ukrainian audition director.

Jenny Pearce, For The Love of Dance studio’s artistic director, says, “That process of seeing them terrified to audition, them being selected and then watching them grow as they learn their role has been really neat.”


Pearce adds that this experience has built up their self confidence and discipline since their audition back in October.


For sisters Ava and Hailey Houghton, performing on the same stage together makes the experience that much more special and the audience is what makes them strive for success.


“I’m excited because I get to be in it and lots of people get to see it like all my family,” said Ava.


Pearce hopes this real life experience encourages them to set goals for themselves.

“I hope they see that dance is a universal language and it’s an art and we are telling the story with our bodies and I hope they learn to continue to mold their bodies and condition their bodies so that they can possibly professionally dance in college,” said Pearce.


The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is this Saturday, December 22, at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 23, at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. at Plaza Theatre.

Tickets can be purchased at www.nutcracker.com

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