Being Part of the Nutcracker
- Connect With Us
- Who is eligible to be in Nutcracker?
- Does my child need to audition?
- What does it cost?
- What is the time commitment?
- Attendance Policies
- Dancers in Ballet 3+
- Class requirements
- 2 Ballet classes a week
- Parents and grandparents in party scene
- Parent committees
- Nutcracker Calendar 2023
Thank you for your interest in The Dance Connection’s Nutcracker. Being part of this holiday tradition is an experience that your child will remember for a lifetime. In addition to furthering their ballet technique and artistry, they build lasting friendships with other dancers while performing in professional theaters.
The Dance Connection takes The Nutcracker from studio to stage in a professional manner. It is important for all dancers and their parents to understand the level of commitment that is required. We created this page to cover everything you need to know about performing in The Nutcracker.
In addition to having an amazing experience performing The Nutcracker you will also get…
- A video of the Performance – As a gift to you, we provide all Nutcracker families a digital video of the performance.
- Nutcracker T-Shirt – Each dancer (including “grown ups”) in The Nutcracker will receive a free t-shirt.
Connect With Us
At The Dance Connection, we’re great about getting back to you and communicating in a timely manner. If you ever have questions, there are many ways to contact us….
📞 Call Hillsborough: (908) 874-8800
📞 Call Quakerbridge: (609) 353-1190
📱 Text: (908) 892-1056
📧 Email: Move@DanceConnectionNJ.com
💻 Website: https://www.danceconnectionnj.com/
🏡 In-Person: 1 Jill Court, Ste 12 & 14, Hillsborough NJ, 08844 | 4110 Quakerbridge Rd, Lawrence Township, NJ 08648
⏱ Office Hours: Monday – Friday 2:30-8:00 p.m., Saturday 9:30a.m.-1:00p.m. (Quakerbridge is closed on Wednesdays, and open at 4:00PM on Mondays and Fridays, 5:00PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays.)
📧 Email – Our Primary Mode of Communication Our primary mode of communication is email. Please maintain a valid email on your account and make sure Move@DanceConnectionNJ.com is on your email safe list. The Dance Connection cannot be responsible if an important email does not reach you due to an invalid email address, or spam filter.
Who is Eligible to be in Nutcracker?
Our Nutcracker is open to any child in Ballet 1 and older. No prior experience is necessary. Dancers need only fulfill the necessary class requirements. (See table below for minimum class requirements for all level dancers.)
Does my child need to audition?
Dancers in Ballet 3+ must audition. Dancers in Ballet 1 & 2 can be placed without audition but are welcome to try a rehearsal in the beginning of September. All dancers age 6 and older are eligible to be part of the production.
What does it cost?
The participation fee for Nutcracker is $389 for Ballet levels 3+, and $249 for Ballet levels 1 & 2. Tuition for classes can be found on our fall schedule. Nutcracker fees are not eligible for multi-class discounts. All Dancers participating in Nutcracker are also required to take, at minimum, 1 ballet class a week.
Tuition for classes can be found on our Dance Studio Policies page.
What is the time commitment?
Performances are usually the 2nd or 3rd week of December. Occasionally there are performances the first week of December. Check the calendar for exact dates. All performances, dress rehearsals and tech rehearsals are mandatory.
This was the 2022 schedule based on ballet levels. Please use it as a rough guide for 2023. The 2023 schedule is pending.
- Mother Ginger – Dancers in Ballet 1 & 2 will rehearse on Fridays from 6:30-7:30p starting September 23rd in Hillsborough or, Mondays form 6:15-7:15pm starting September 26th in West Windsor. All Mother Ginger dancers (both Hillsborough & West Windsor) will start Saturday rehearsals on November 12, 2022 at our Hillsborough location.
- All Dancers in Ballet 3+ will rehearse on Saturdays starting after 2:15p. A schedule will be sent out at least a week in advance. Often the schedule stays the same for several weeks, However, there is variation in the schedule, based on what sections of the ballet need to be rehearsed.
- Battle will rehearse on Saturdays from 2:15-3:30p starting September 24th. Any dancer, of any age or level, who is registered for The Nutcracker is invited to be in the Battle Scene. There is no extra charge to be in battle. Dancers will be soldiers or mice. You can’t choose which side to be on. Dancers in Waltz of the Snowflakes must get permission to be in battle scene. The last day to let us know if your child will join us for the battle scene is September 24th.
It’s very important that your child is here for rehearsals. Of all the things you can do for your child to make this a great experience for them, making sure they are present, on time, is the most important. Below are our policies regarding absences.
- Attend all rehearsals – Dancers are expected to attend all rehearsals and classes except in extenuating circumstances. Prior notification to the studio is required for scheduled conflicts.
- There are no excused absences – If your child is not at rehearsal for whatever reason, it counts as an absence.
- 2 Absences – If a dancer misses more than 2 rehearsals, casting will be changed.
- Clara – Will not be excused from any rehearsals except for illness with a doctor’s note.
- Dress Rehearsals – All dress rehearsals and technical rehearsals are mandatory. Casting will be changed if a dancer misses one of these rehearsals.
- Performances – All performances are mandatory. Please note occasions on the calendar where your child may need to miss or leave school early.
- Drop Out Rule – No dancer will be allowed to drop out after October 1st. Leads, Snow, Waltz, and Advanced dancers will not be allowed to drop out after commencement of the summer intensive. No refunds will be given in these instances.
Dancers in Ballet Levels 3+
As dancers move into more advanced levels, they are given more responsibility and more challenging roles. We encourage parents to reinforce these higher expectations with their children.
- All dancers in ballet 3 and above are expected to have a notebook and take notes.
- All dancers in ballet 3 and above are expected to remember choreography from one week to the next. Dancers should take notes and can also take a videos of choreography to practice at home.
- Any dancer (level 3+) who misses a rehearsal must coordinate with another dancer to go over the material they missed.
We are always challenging our students to improve not only their ballet skills, but also their life skills.
Ballet Levels 5 +
2 Ballet Classes/week (required)
3 Ballet Classes/week (recommended)
-Rehearsals Saturday from 2:15-6:30pm
Specific times TBD
Ballet Levels 3 – 4
2 Ballet Classes a week
-Rehearsals Saturday from 2:15-6:30pm
Specific times TBD
Ballet 1 & 2
2 Ballet Classes a week
– Hillsborough Rehearsals will be Fridays 6:30-7:30p
-Attend Saturday rehearsals in Hillsborough starting Nov 12th.
– Dancers who participate in battle scene will rehearse on Saturdays from 2:15-3:30pm starting September 24th.
2 Ballet Classes a Week
As a reminder, we recommend dancers in ballet level 2+ take at least 2 ballet classes a week to maintain their technique. Dancers in level 2+ who are taking less than 2 classes a week will not be in consideration for level advancement and will not receive an evaluation in January. All dancers who are cast in a lead or as a soloist in Nutcracker, must take 2 ballet classes a week.
Parents and Grandparents in party scene
We need real parents (and grandparents) in the party scene. You get to dance, and be onstage with your child/grandchild. Rehearsals will be every Saturday, starting October 28th(TBD). These rehearsals are typically after 3:30 pm. Contact the office if you are interested. If you decide to be part of party scene, your will only be able to miss one Saturday rehearsal, and you will also be required to be present at all dress rehearsals and performances.
The Nutcracker production takes committed parents to create the show! Parent committees are not required, but it’s an opportunity for you to become part of your child’s Nutcracker experience. Any parent that volunteers to be part of the show receives a tuition credit of $100 in January. Committee assignments and slots will be posted in the beginning of October. We always need help with the following
- Sewing and costume alterations.
- Scenery and props – these need constant maintenance.
- Marketing – we love to post and share photos of the kids and let people know about our performance.
- Stage crew – help running the show. This is a lot of fun and you get to be backstage with your child.
- Chaperones – We run a professional show only chaperones are allowed backstage. You’ll be in charge of a group of kids.
- Souvenirs – many families who come see our show want something to remember us by. You’ll be out in the lobby selling souvenirs and sharing positive things about our Nutcracker.