Pennsylvania Ballet Academy readies for “Nutcracker Sweets”

CAMP HILL, Pa. (WPMT) – A local ballet academy is putting its twist on a Christmas classic.

Students and staff at the Pennsylvania Ballet Academy have been preparing for their performance of “Nutcracker Sweets.”

The show is at 6 p.m.  Saturday, December 14 at the Pollock Performing Arts Center in Camp Hill.

There are tickets still available. The price for adults is $25; the price for seniors and children is $15.

Students and instructors at the academy have spent two months training for the performance.

“We come in, we do a two-hour class to begin the day. (We) continue on with a few hours rehearsing and then we end the night around 8 or 9 in the evening,” said Simeon Beaurline, a student in the pre-professional division at the academy.

Simeon Beaurline trains for his role as “The Nutcracker” in “Nutcracker Sweets.”

Beaurline plays the role of the Nutcracker.

It is a role he has played before, but he is still excited this time because of some changes that have been made by the staff.

“It’s definitely a good opportunity to excel (at) what I’ve been working so hard on for the last several years. Each performance is a new stepping stone and learning experience,” Beaurline said.

The Pennsylvania Ballet Academy first opened in September 2017.

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Artistic director Vanessa Zahorian, who danced for 20 years in the San Francisco Ballet, said the academy has a specialized focus.

“Our school consists of individuality and focus on the small classes and in depth corrections, classical work and technique,” Zahorian said.

The academy offers a wide range of classes, including point, pre-ballet for ages 3-18, contemporary classes, an adult program, and a special needs program.

Zahorian said the special needs program is a change to give everyone the opportunity to dance.

“(They) place their hand on the bar, do movements with their arms and legs or if they’re in a wheel chair, they’re able to listen to music and incorporate their bodies,” said Zahorian.

This is the second year the academy has performed “Nutcracker Sweets.”

RELATED: PA Ballet Academy Live Interview about “Nutcracker Sweets”

“Depending on the range of the students and what technically they can do, we will create it each year pertaining to who we have,” Zahorian said.

This year, 50 students will be on stage with a mix of classical and contemporary dancing.

To read more about the Pennsylvania Ballet Academy, click here.

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