The National Honor Society for Dance Arts chapter of Colorado Ballet Society is coordinating with Connexus Dance Collective, as well as Santa and Ms. Claus, to provide a Nutcracker Tea for the Colorado Springs community at 2:00pm on Monday, November 25 and Tuesday, November 26, 2019, at Ballet Society’s Briargate Studio, 8570 Criterion Drive #154 in Colorado Springs.
“We are looking forward to hosting the third annual Nutcracker Tea,” shares Ballet Society founder and director, Patricia Hoffman. “This event really makes meeting Santa even more magical while also providing a quality arts experience for the community.”
“The Ballet Society Nutcracker Tea not only helps create cherished holiday memories for the guests who attend, but it is also a great opportunity to support the growth and leadership skills of the young dancers in our community,” explains parent and volunteer, Raquel Worf. Raquel’s daughter is in her eighth year of dancing with Ballet Society and in her third year with NHSDA. “Last year, my daughter was an active part of the Nutcracker Tea, and as a parent volunteer, I had the privilege of participating as part of the kitchen service. It was such a pleasure working with the dancers in the kitchen and seeing them take ownership of the event. Through the kitchen window, I loved watching the looks of awe on the young guests’ faces as Clara, the Sugarplum Fairy, a Candy Cane, and other Nutcracker characters actively joined in the experience.”
“The goal of this event is to bring the community together for a magical experience through tea, performance, and special guests such as Santa and Mrs Claus, in hopes of bringing a greater appreciation for the arts,” says Mia Otto, Ballet Society Studio Manager and NHSDA Faculty Advisor.
Guests will sit down for tea and holiday treats with characters from The Nutcracker, visit with Santa, and take photos with Santa, Ms. Claus, and the Nutcracker characters. Then, twenty dancers from the Colorado Youth Ballet and Connexus Dance Collective will present a thirty-minute performance. Connexus will open the show with two new holiday-themed contemporary pieces, choreographed by Laci Landry and Daniel Prewitt, to music selections with a fun and unique twist on Christmas classics. The Colorado Youth Ballet will follow with their Petite Nutcracker, an introduction to the Nutcracker ballet, which includes shortened versions of the Party Scene, the Battle Scene, and the Land of the Sweets.
“It’s very exciting to have Connexus participating in the Nutcracker Teas this year. This event draws many younger kids and it is exciting that they will experience classical ballet and contemporary dance in the same show,” explains Laci Landry, choreographer and Connexus Manager. “I hope the audience is intrigued by the different style and interpretation of the music contemporary dance can present and that the works bring them joy, peace and excitement in this Christmas season.”
Proceeds from the Nutcracker Teas will go towards the Ballet Society’s NHSDA Scholarship Fund, which helps students in need pay for dance classes. The 2018 Nutcracker Tea proceeds were awarded to five-year-old twins, Claira and Chloe Vanderhoef, two of Colorado Youth Ballet’s 2019 Nutcracker Dancers for a Day. Claira has an ultra-rare neurological disease called
alternating Hemiplegia of childhood (AHC). AHC affects one in a million children and causes repeated, transient attacks of hemiplegia (paralysis of a portion of the body). It is often described as having seven diseases in one as it causes neurodegeneration like Alzheimer’s, seizures like epilepsy, low muscle tone like cerebral palsy, and movement problems like Parkinson’s. Claira doesn’t let her disease define her and aspires to be a ballerina when she grows up, spending many of her good days dancing around the house. Claira and Chloe will not only dance in the Party Scene during Colorado Youth Ballet’s 2019 Nutcracker, but they will take Sparkle Dance Classes for a year. An opportunity they wouldn’t have without NHSDA’s Scholarship Fund.
The Petite Nutcracker performed at The Nutcracker Tea is a delightful sneak peek at Colorado Youth Ballet’s Nutcracker which will be performed at the Ent Center on December 20-23.
Figure 1: Santa and Ms. Claus with Colorado Youth Ballet Dancers | PC: Santa
Figure 2: Raquel Worf with NHSDA members working in the kitchen | PC: Kayla Coburn
Figure 3: Spectacularly decorated Nutcracker Tea Table | PC: Kayla Coburn
Figure 4: Party Scene from the Petite Nutcracker performance at the Nutcracker Tea | PC: Kayla Coburn
Figure 5: Claira Vanderhoef at the Ballerina Boutique. Claira and Chloe’s outfits were donated by Ballerina Boutique as part of their Dancer for a Day experience | PC: Kimberly Vanderhoef
Figure 6: Chloe Vanderhoef getting ready for her first Sparkle class, wearing the dance outfit donated by Ballerina Boutique as part of the Dancer for a Day experience | (PC: Kimberly Vanderhoef
Figure 7: Evelyn Gohl performing Arabian | Photo by Kayla Coburn
Figure 8: Julia Stark performing Sugar Plum | Photo by Kayla Coburn
Figure 9: Candy Canes in the Petite Nutcracker | Photo by Kayla Coburn
Figure 10: NHSDA Nutcracker Tea Group Photo | PC: Kayla Coburn
Figure 11: Santa and Ms. Claus with an excited Nutcracker Tea Guest | PC: Kayla Coburn