KSS Students Appear in Beloved Christmas Production

Mikayla Banman

An annual Christmastime tradition; The Nutcracker’s first full debut in North America was by The San Francisco Ballet. The Nutcracker is currently performed at Christmastime by countless ballet companies around the world, and is often a company’s highest-earning performance of the year.

Kelowna is extremely privileged to have a dance studio (The Canadian School of Ballet) that partakes in this beloved tradition, and a professional ballet company (Ballet Kelowna) with dancers that take the production to the next level. This year The Nutcracker, presented by The Canadian School of Ballet, performed in the Kelowna Community Theatre December 11-13, with seven shows.

The Nutcracker is so loved because of the emotion it evokes from an audience. Whether it is the happiness when Clara gets her Nutcracker doll in the opening scene, or joy when he turns to life, or sadness when they are separated at the end of Act II; the audience is captured by it all. Hopefully, people who attend The Nutcracker leave with a smile on their faces and a feeling of Christmas spirit. That is the purpose of the Nutcracker, and any ballet, play, or movie; to make your audience feel something.

Several KSS students auditioned and earned roles in The Nutcracker this year, including: Lydia Angel-Fox, Kieran Murells-Allaway, Katherine Taylor, and Myself (Mikayla Banman). Practices run every weekend from October to December. Dancers, choreographers, and many other behind the scenes helpers put in countless hours of volunteer time to make the production a success. The absolute best part of being a dancer in The Nutcracker is at the end of every show, when all cast members are onstage for the final bow, everyone is smiling and the audience members are clapping like crazy, and you can see them smiling too. You get this insane feeling of being high on life in that moment, and to know that people enjoy watching you do what you love is incredible. There is just something completely magical and breathtaking about The Nutcracker Ballet, and people continue to come back because of it.