Info about the Nutcracker Experience:
from auditions to casting,  rehearsals,
performing, showtime, and more!

keep tradition alive

Click PLAY on the video at left to view a video on our Nutcracker tradition at SBDA.

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101 McCray Street, Suite 104 Hollister CA 95023 USA        


San Benito Dance Academy has a rich history of performing a traditional Nutcracker ballet production during the holiday season. This will be our 15th year of creating a memorable and professional performance showcasing our very talented dancers and also a rich collection of costumes.

So, what is this season going to look like?!
For those of you who have been involved in any of our past 14 Nutcracker productions, the scenes, dances, costumes, and story of the production remain the same (or slightly adapted to accommodate different environments and ensure safety in execution of dances).

THIS is currently the anticipated timeline for this season ahead...

1. Sept. 16&17, 2022: Auditions
2. Casting: last week of September; select rehearsals for leads start the last weekend of September; others are the first week in October
3. Rehearsals: October-early December; each scene will be rehearsed in small cohort groups (casted by level/section)
4. All-Cast Full Show Run Throughs at SBDA: the first two Saturdays in December, we run each of the shows: A&B (12/3) C&D (12/10)

5. Dress Rehearsal: Friday, Dec. 16 at Sherwood Hall in Salinas
5. Shows: 1pm & 6pm on Saturday & Sunday Dec. 17-18 at Sherwood Hall in Salinas

How YOU can be involved... (there is truly something for EVERYONE!)
There are a multitude of ways that you can get involved in this exciting event:

▪ Make a Tax-Deductible Donation towards our non-profit foundation, to support dancers who want to participate in this production, as well as projects and purchase of supplies for the season/event.
▪ Make a monetary donation towards covering the cost of supplies and to aid in production costs.
▪ Volunteer with costuming, props, or transportation of items to the performance venue.

View more details and express specific desires to sponsor by submitting responses to THIS FORM:

Advertising for Businesses or Personal purposes:
▪ Digital & Print Programs: personal or business ads will be inserted in both print form as well as a digitally-accessible program for access during and after shows, with an audience of thousands in attendance or viewing our program online/digitally!

View more details and submit your content by filling out THIS FORM:

Volunteers are an integral part of the success of the entire production of the show. There is an amazing amount of talent among our families and in our community. We are looking to fill the necessary positions that enable us to pull this new sort of production together!
1. Costume Fittings/Tailoring (various projects throughout the season): there are a multitude of time-specific jobs--from taking measurements at auditions, to tailoring costumes or sewing modifications/new ones. Some prop-making might be entailed.
2. Projects & Supplies: times to work on these projects may be flexible; see individual tasks for details. Due dates/deadlines may apply for certain specific jobs. Supplies can be brought to the studio at any time, unless a deadline is otherwise indicated.
3. Backstage helpers: from check in to wrangling dancers, to quick changes backstage and hair/makeup! We NEED your expertise!

4. Dress Rehearsal & Show Days at the venue (Dec. 16-18): Volunteer positions including ushering, security, ticket sales, merchandise and concessions staffing/sales, and more!
5. Baking: from auditions to weekends for enjoyment during rehearsals, to the show weekend!

You may sign up for more than one job/time slot.
If you have a dancer in the production and you volunteer for a job, the $100 Participation Fee is waived. Consult the schedules for Auditions, Costume Fittings, Rehearsals days, as well as Performance/Show Days to know when might be most convenient to volunteer.
You may sign up for volunteer positions by accessing the volunteer sign up binder found at the Nutcracker Info Station by the studio office.

ALSO, tell all your friends & family to attend our shows! Thank you for your interest in supporting performing arts, dance education, and local business.


The second act opens as angels escort Clara further into her dream state...

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The Arabian Dance

The Waltz of the Flowers

The Send-Off

Clara and her Prince reflect on their fantastical journey and all they have seen, and are presented with one last dance by Sugar Plum Fairy and the International Court, and then is sent off in the sleigh with Drosselmeyer.

The Russian Dance

Dance of the Shepherdess

The Land of Snow

Drosselmeyer magically reappears and changes the Nutcracker into a Prince and whisks Clara off in a sleigh, on a journey to the Land of Snow,  an enchanted forest wonderland where they are welcomed by dancing snowflakes.

The Land of Sweets

The Sugar Plum Fairy appears and escorts Clara to the Land of Sweets, where she is greeted by dancing candies. Then the Prince and Clara are received by an International Court, where they tell of their daring battle with the army of mice, and are rewarded with a celebration of fantastic international dances:

The Spanish Dance

The Chinese Dance

The Battle Scene

As the clock strikes midnight strange things begin to happen.  Clara begins shrinking as her beautiful Christmas tree grows high above her.  The toys around the tree come to life while the room fills with an army of mice, lead by the fierce Mouse Queen.  The Nutcracker leads his army of toy soldiers into battle with the mice.  The Mouse Queen has an epic fight with the Nutcracker one-on-one. The Nutcracker seems to be no match for the Mouse Queen. The Nutcracker and his army can go on no longer and are captured by the mice and their Queen.  Clara makes a final daring charge throwing her slipper at the Mouse Queen.  The Nutcracker rises and stabs the Mouse Queen.  She drops to the floor and the mice run away, carrying off their leader's lifeless body. The Nutcracker gives Clara her shoe back, and soothes her fears, as he dances her worries away, guiding her into a new world.

The Party Scene

It is Christmas Eve at the Stahlbaum house- - A large and grand house with the most beautiful tree imaginable.  The Stahlbaums are hosting their annual Christmas party, welcoming the arrival of their family and friends. The children, Clara and Fritz, are dancing and playing as they welcome their friends too.

The party grows festive with music and dance as relative Drosselmeyer arrives. Drosselmeyer is an amazing toy-maker and world-traveler, and always full of magical surprises, especially when returning from a voyage. Drosselmeyer draws everyone's attention as life-sized dolls are presented. They are the delight of the party, each taking a turn to dance.

The children begin to open gifts when Drosselmeyer presents one to Clara, a beautiful Nutcracker that becomes the hit of the party.  Although the gift to Fritz is quite nice, Clara is given the beautiful Nutcracker. Fritz becomes jealous, and having a bit more spunk than a boy should have, grabs the nutcracker from Clara and promptly breaks it. Clara is heartbroken looking on as Drosselmeyer quickly repairs the Nutcracker with a handkerchief he magically draws from the air.

As the evening grows late, the guest depart and the Stahlbaum family retires for the evening. Clara, worried about her beloved Nutcracker, sneaks back to the tree to check on him, falling asleep with him in her arms.

 The Nutcracker Story

Our Tradition

This year marks our 15th Nutcracker season. Come be a part of it as we continually pivot and adjust to our times, but still offer our community dance education and a fun family experience, throughout the whole process! It has been a great enrichment to our holiday season. There is something for everyone! We have a cast from ages two to adults. We have been told that the experience is unforgettable! Join us in the tradition of The Nutcracker!

Want to know more about the experience?


The Nutcracker