Dance Kids of Monterey County is celebrating more than 20 years of Nutcracker onstage! From the humble beginnings in a 100 seat theatre, we have come to call the glorious Sunset Center home.
Our team has been with us for many years. Set designer Nicole Bryant-Stephans, stage manager and assistant stage manager, Carol Heiland Rosa and Trish Hatfield, lighting designer Melissa DeGiere and our beloved costume designer, Joanne Phelps, create a strong base of talent and energy needed to produce quality ballet year after year.
Hundreds of volunteer hours are required to produce this yearly holiday extravaganza. The elegant gala and silent auction kicks off the celebratory weekend and is followed by an exceptional Sugar Plum Fairy Tea on Sunday before the matinee. Kudos to the chairwomen and their tireless committees, dedicated to excellence. The classic tradition of Nutcracker is supported by incredible moms and dads, friends of Dance Kids and a strong board of directors leading the charge.
From the grace and beauty of the pre professional dancers to the youngest four year old, the cast becomes a family with the older students lending a hand to the “littles”, helping each other into the complex tutus and reviewing choreography to assure as close to perfection as possible.
It has been our joy to see the excitement on the faces of the children before the curtain rises each year.
Dance Kids Cascan Nueces 2015 project, a Latino version of the traditional European Nutcracker, is in its third year of touring. Nine mariachi musicians perform Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece re written by Salinas born, Jalisco harpist, William Faulkner, including the four divertissement from the second act and the much loved Sugar Plum Fairy solo. Folkloric dancers perform four traditional, and very different, dance styles from four different Mexican states. The Sugar Plum Fairy solo is performed by a Dance Kids ballerina in a traditional tutu, continuing the process of bridging the cultures and creating growth and understanding with the art of dance connecting diversity.
Each summer Dance Kids collaborates with the nationally recognized program, UpWard Bound. Upward Bound provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their precollege performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. Upward Bound serves: high school students from low-income families; and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education. This program is housed at CSUMB.
Without the support of the Monterey Peninsula community, Dance Kids would not be able to continue its valuable programming bringing dance and the arts to the children of Monterey County. We need your help! Please donate today on this website.
With continued passion and love of the arts,
Alan and Carol Richmond
Dance Kids is proud to welcome Andrea Paris-Gutiérrez, Director of Los Angeles Ballet Academy, as the Director of this year’s remount of the traditional and much loved community ballet, Nutcracker.
Ms. Paris-Gutiérrez began her training in New Zealand and was awarded a full scholarship to the National Ballet School where she studied before joining the Royal New Zealand Ballet. In 1992 Andrea started her own school, Los Angeles Ballet Academy (LABA) and received the Royal Academy of Dancing Teacher’s Certificate. Andrea has been awarded Outstanding Choreographer at Company Dance and the Youth America Grand Prix Regional. She has been awarded Outstanding Teacher at the YAGP (Youth America Grand Prix) and LABA has four times been awarded outstanding school at YGAP. In 2007 Andrea was awarded the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award from Dance Teacher Magazine. Her choreography has been seen on music videos, soap operas, industrials and numerous ballet companies.
Dance Kids of Monterey County will present Nutcracker, December 11, 12 and 13 at Sunset Center. A glittering and all new Gala will open the evening of December 11 with a surprise theme created by our “dream team” of Dance Kids volunteers. Their magic will continue with the much loved and anticipated Sugar Plum Fairy Party extraordinaire on Sunday December 13. These two events are signature fundraising events for Dance Kids and are not to be missed!
Dancers and actors, ages 5 thru adult are welcome to audition! Some in the cast have not been on stage or had formal training in dance or acting. Dance Kids is a wonderful introduction to the joy of performing in a safe learning environment. We welcome dancers from all teaching facilities and look forward to our 22nd year of excellence in performing arts education.
With well over 100 volunteers working for months to create the magic of Nutcracker, Dance Kids salutes their tireless efforts on behalf of the children and community of the Monterey Peninsula.
Dance Kids collaborates throughout the year with Community Partnership for Youth and the National organization UpWard Bound. These two agencies touch the lives of underserved youth in our community, the Salinas Valley and the entire South Monterey County. Dance Kids provides funding for dance and music teachers, working with the highly esteemed program Guitars Not Guns. At the core of the Dance Kids mission statement:
Dance Kids of Monterey County was created to provide ongoing performance opportunities in dance the theater arts to the youth of Monterey County. Our mission is to strengthen character and positively influence children’s lives through the performing arts.
We invite you to like us on Facebook and follow the beautiful photos of the dancers and programming of the Dance Kids of Monterey County in the next months to come!
Civilizations are not remembered by their business people, their bankers or lawyers. They’re remembered by the arts.
The quote was made by an American entrepreneur Eli Broad after founding not one but two Fortune 500 companies. Co-founder of the colossal building empire Kaufman and Broad, he and his wife Edythe have committed their fortune in gifting programs benefitting the youth of America.
Dance Kids of Monterey County believes in the youth of Monterey County and supports programming for traditional ballet as well as culturally diverse learning.
Two years ago a concept to present a Latino Nutcracker was developed. Dance Kids is proud to have this VERY UNIQUE FREE program ready for a venue debut! Our Big Idea will present our bilingual Latino Nutcracker titled Cascanueces at Sherwood Hall, Salinas. The program is an interpretation of the traditional holiday favorite, with Tchaikovsky’s music re written by Jalisco harpist, William Faulker and performed by a nine piece live mariachi band. Traditional folkloric dancers perform with the Sugar Plum Fairy telling the age old fairy tale with a new twist.
Dance Kids is proud to be the recipient of funds through Monterey County Gives! Thank you to all of our friends that donated to Dance Kids programming.