AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — It is a holiday tradition here on the High Plains and has been for more than 50 years, the Lone Star Ballet‘s “The Nutcracker”.’
A lot of hard work and preparation goes into getting the show and dancers ready for the production.
Rehearsals started almost immediately after Lone Star Ballet’s first show and Roxann Seaton, Lone Star Dance Academy director said a lot of work goes into getting the dancers ready for The Nutcracker.
“They take classes from 5:30 [p.m.] to 8 [p.m.] and then we start rehearsals at 8 and then we go until about 10 o’clock at night, we start that and that’s about five weeks of rehearsals before the shows, and then we are here on Saturdays starting at 10 o’clock and we are here until about 4:30 or five,” said Seaton.
Lone Star Ballet Executive Director Craig Henderson added The Nutcracker is a large-scale production.
“We have about 17 on the crew, about 130 in the cast, and 20 volunteers, the guild has a sales booth. It’s spectacular looking. We have anything from a dollar for the kids to $500 in nutcrackers and Christmas paraphernalia. It’s a large impact for the Amarillo community,” said Henderson.
And Henderson said Amarillo’s production of The Nutcracker rivals any other.
“We’ve had some of our technical people work on the New York or Dallas. Our line set, our scenery, and our props rival anything. We spent $1.2 million several years ago redoing it,” said Henderson.
Henderson said that last year The Nutcracker saw its largest ticket sales ever, and he said they are on track to beat those numbers this year.
Henderson added that The Nutcracker is the Lone Star Ballet’s largest cash producer.
Seaton added when you come to see the ballet, you are supporting local performing arts.
“Support these kiddos, let them know that the arts are still a valued thing in the panhandle,” said Seaton.
Seaton added if kids want to do The Nutcracker or other shows, they have to be a part of the Lone Star Dance Academy, but if they are a part of the Academy they don’t have to do productions. She said after The Nutcracker wraps, the Academy will have a week of just classes, then the ballet takes two weeks off and then they will return for a week of classes before jumping into the next show.
There are seven Lone Star Dance Academy locations throughout the High Plains; Amarillo, Borger, Dalhart, Dumas, Hereford, Panhandle, and Plainview, and according to Henderson about 450 dancers are enrolled.
Henderson added that Lone Star Ballet also supports WTAMU’s dance program, he said they also their Circle of Professionals dance company, which are students from WT, which they compensate with a stipend.