Dancers of all ages dreaming of performing in the Southwest Ballet Theater’s sixth annual production of Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker” at King of Kings Church in Goodyear during December will have a chance to audition next month.
Auditions are scheduled from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at Effusion Dance Center, 3810 S. Estrella Parkway, Suite 309 in Goodyear.
SWBT will stage two outdoor performances of the two-act classical ballet Saturday, Dec. 12, at the church, 3095 N. 140th Ave., Goodyear. If there is inclement weather, the performances will be moved to Saturday, Dec. 19.
Levels four through six will audition for roles in the ballet, while pre-ballet through level three will participate in a social activity during the audition.
Masks will be required, and dancers are asked to follow a dress code for each level.
Dancers ages 11 and older who wish to take a ballet class before the audition should arrive at 11 a.m. There is a $30 fee for the two-hour ballet and pointe class. Parents will be required to stay for a mandatory meeting to receive information on what to expect for their dancers during the performance season.
“One of the things I love about our production of ‘The Nutcracker’ each year is that it brings together dancers of all levels, from first-time performers to seasoned professionals,” SWBT Board President Susan Richardson said in a prepared statement. “We genuinely welcome all aspiring dancers to audition for the show.”
She explained that although the nonprofit dance studio has experienced many setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains committed to bringing professional ballet performances to the West Valley.
After many months of virtual ballet classes, SWBT went back into the studio for classes in August.
“Because of COVID, we’ve had to delay moving to our permanent studio home at Estrella Mountain Community College’s Performing Arts Center until January, but we’re incredibly grateful to Effusion Dance Center for hosting us in their new facility,” SWBT Treasurer Elizabeth Seufert said in a prepared statement. “They’ve been so welcoming and collaborative.”
SWBT’s professional faculty teaches classical ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical to students ages 4 to adult. Appropriate safety measures are in place at the studio, and Zoom classes are available for those who are not ready to return to in-person dancing.
“We felt it was very important to get back to dancing in the studio,” Artistic Director Melissa Zervas Hahne said in a prepared statement. “Kids are spending an incredible amount of time in front of the computer right now; we need to get them moving not only for their physical health but also their mental and emotional well-being.”
Although "The Nutcracker"' performances will look very different from years past because of funding constraints and social distancing guidelines, SWBT is committed to making them happen for the community, Ms. Richardson said.
“Last year our performances of ‘The Nutcracker’ drew almost 1,000 people,” she said. “Even if we have to perform outside this year, we think it is more important than ever to be a bright spot for the community. At the end of this very difficult year, we all need a little holiday spirit, and 'The Nutcracker' is such a wonderful part of the holiday season.”
For information about classes at SWBT or the upcoming auditions, visit swbtballet.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.