The Magic of the Nutcracker: Rockwall Dance Academy presents first ballet production

(ROCKWALL, TX – Dec. 8, 2017) Rockwall Dance Academy proudly showcased their talented dancers in the studio’s very first ballet production of The Nutcracker on Saturday, December 2nd in the Performing Arts Center of North Forney High School. The ballet was under the direction of Emily Hatch.

“Since I was a little girl I’ve always loved the Nutcracker,” said Emily, “Growing up, I’ve had the privilege to perform in the show and now I feel so blessed to have produced it.”

The stage was transformed into many beautiful scenes. The first scene showcased the Stahlbaum Family Christmas party in their mansion. The Acting Studio of Rockwall co-owner and Assistant Director of the Nutcracker, Keeli James, along with her husband Blake James, played the roles of Mr. & Mrs. Stahlbaum.  The lead character, daughter Clara, was performed by Jolie Wilkerson for the 2pm show and Ashlynn Denney for the 7pm show. They welcomed their friends and family to enjoy an evening of dancing, a reading of the Nutcracker story, and all the spectacular magic tricks performed by Drosselmeier, Clara’s Godfather. The children sat in awe as Drosselmeier, performed by Lake Pointe’s Shane Boswell, magically transformed three dolls into life where they then danced for them. After the party ended, Clara fell asleep in the parlor and dreamt of the Nutcracker that her Godfather gifted her.

In the next scene, Clara’s dream showed the Christmas tree growing to infinite measures and the Nutcracker, performed by Liam Taylor, and his soldiers battling the Rat Queen, performed by Maddie Mulliken, and her mice.  The Rat Queen wounded the Nutcracker so Clara came to the rescue killing her with her magical ballet slipper. The Nutcracker then turned into a handsome Prince, performed by Liam Taylor.

The Prince and Clara journeyed through a beautiful pine forest into the Land of Snow. The Snow Queen, performed by KK Tunnell, and her Cavalier, performed by Isaac Jenkins, danced a beautiful ballet as Snowflakes filled the stage to close Act 1.

After intermission, Act 2 began with Clara and the Prince arriving in the Land of Sweets on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. The Land of Sweets was ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, performed by professional guest dancers Natalie Bracken and C. Nicholas Morris, respectively. They welcomed Clara and had a big celebration in her honor for saving the Prince. Sweets and treats were then brought to her from all around the world as beautiful dancers performed for them.  These dances included a Chinese ballet with traditional paper umbrellas, an Arabian Princess ballet showcasing flexibility and controlled movement, performed by Ava Mojica, a Spanish duet with beautiful hand fans, performed by Olivia and Scarlett Hanvey, Marzipan, performed by lead ballet dancer Maddie Mulliken, an acrobatic dance with the Russian Candy Canes, performed by RDA’s top level acro class, and a vibrant Mother Ginger, performed by Rockwall Community Playhouse’s Ashley Reeves.

After the celebration, the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier perform a beautiful dance of two, or Pas De Deaux. After a final waltz, Clara told Drosselmeier all about her adventures. She fell back to sleep and he transformed the Prince back into her Nutcracker toy.

Rockwall Dance Academy enjoyed hosting their first ballet production. “We are so grateful to the Rockwall community who has welcomed our studio over the past 16 months,” said Emily, “We couldn’t have done this without all the help of the parents who have sacrificed their time and energy into helping this production come together. I can’t wait to do it again next year.”

Auditions for the 2018 Nutcracker Ballet will be held in May of 2018. A Summer Intensive Camp for the Nutcracker will be held in July of 2018. Please visit the studio website for more information at  You can reach RDA at 469-769-1301 or by e-mail at

About Rockwall Dance Academy

Rockwall Dance Academy Mission: To help each student find the level and type of dance that will illuminate their passion for dance. We provide opportunities for our dancers to gain experience dancing on stage through Ballet productions, competitive dance teams, community performances, Spring Recital, and more.

The Rockwall Dance Academy is located at 447 E. Interstate 30, Rockwall, TX  75087.

Submitted press release. Photos courtesy of Rockwall Dance Academy.

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