Nutcracker in a Nutshell will be performed Dec. 15 and 16 at EMCS.

Nutcracker is a seasonal favourite for all ages

Carole Cave Dance Studio presents a Christmas dance production

A colourful cast of local dancers will be taking the stage on Dec. 15 and 16 for the Sooke Dance Studio’s fourth annual production of Nutcracker in a Nutshell.

“It is a shorter, condensed version of the classical ballet and we do ours with a twist,” said Carole Cave, Sooke Dance Studio owner.

“I don’t know of any other productions that do this, but we put in tap, hip hop and contemporary into the traditional ballet.”

Cave said although the vibrant two act rendition is condensed, nothing from the story plot will be omitted.

“We still have all the scenes in there… over the years we gradually added them,” she said, adding unlike the traditional ballet, there will not be classical solo dance parts.

“Our show is an hour and 35 minutes, including a 20 minute intermission, so it makes it a reasonable amount of time for little ones to sit.”

The production, which is an optional dance opportunity, had 52 performers from the local studio and the Light House Dance Academy in Colwood sign up.

Most of the performers will have two costume changes, bringing the costume tally up to 114.

A majority of the roles will be played by young dancers aged five and up. Some parts will be played by adults, and tots aged three to four have also been invited to get on stage.

The event is also held as a fundraiser for the Sooke Family Resources Society. A dollar from each ticket sold will go towards the organization, and a bake sale and silent auction will be held during intermission.

Although Cave dreamed of organizing a Nutcracker production for years, it only materialized when it was hosted as a benefit for the Sooke Family Resources Society.

“One of the motivating pieces was let’s fundraise for the Family Resources Society, so that kind of gave us a purpose to go for it,” she said.

Teresa Norquay, Sooke Family Resource Society program co-ordinator and dancer, said the Nutcracker in a Nutshell is one of the organization’s largest fundraisers.

She added all proceeds go towards the children and families program.

About $1,500 was raised last year.

The young dancers have been rehearsing since the last week of September and both Cave and Norquay agreed the children are more than excited for the open curtain.

“They’re such a big team, and it’s a real family environment. they all really care about each other and have fun together and work hard together,” Norquay said.

The show takes place at Edward Milne community theatre, at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday, Dec. 15 and  2 p.m. on Dec. 16.

Tickets are $15 and are available at the Sooke Dance Studio and Bee’s Knees.