West Potomac Academy, Alexandria Community Nutcracker Partnership to Present Tenth Annual Holiday Classic

News Release
November 05, 2018

The West Potomac Academy Dance program and Alexandria Community Nutcracker will present the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker,” on November 29, 30, and December 1. This is the tenth year that the academy and the Alexandria Community Nutcracker have partnered to present “The Nutcracker.”

This season’s four public performances will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 29; at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 30; and at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 1. All performances will be held at West Potomac High School, 6500 Quander Road, in the Alexandria are of Fairfax County.

The cast ranges from three-year-olds to adult performers dancing ballet, pointe, lyrical, tap, jazz, modern, and gymnastics.  Auditions are held annually each June, and are open to preschool, elementary, middle school, and high school dancers who are enrolled in an approved dance or gymnastics program in the local area. 

The Alexandria Community Nutcracker began in 2008, in partnership with the West Potomac Academy’s Dance program, with a goal of bringing young dancers of all skill levels from the local Alexandria community together to perform Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece. West Potomac Academy Dance students would take on stage production roles and be featured in select choreography, while community dancers of all ages could audition as leading and supporting cast members.  Over the last decade, the production has evolved in size and scope. 

Led by a team of directors: Gennifer Difilippo of Alexandria Community Dance, Courtney Betzel of West Potomac Academy, and Adrienne Taylor of Above the Barre, this Nutcracker adaptation is unique. The music in act two has been reproduced to incorporate traditional ballet dances, as well as jazz, contemporary, hip hop, Irish dancing, tap, and gymnastics.

In honor of this year’s 10th anniversary performance, professional New York City choreographer Ebone Simone Johnson is lending her talents for the hip hop Russian number. The West Potomac High Orchestra will perform live music during the Waltz of the Flowers and there will be a live guitar accompaniment during the Reed Flutes number.

“Looking back at the last ten years, it’s become so much more than a dance production,” says Betzel. “It’s part of the fabric of our community, with families, friends, colleagues, school and scouting groups making it an annual tradition to support their children, siblings, neighbors, peers, classmates and students performing on stage, while also getting into the spirit of the season.”

More information is available online

For the media: Previews of the production will be available to credentialed members of the media during dress rehearsals. The public performances welcome media as well. Interviews are available upon request with the directors of the production, as well as dancers who have performed in all ten Alexandria Community Nutcracker productions. Contact Maria Kappel at makappel@fcps.edu or 703-718-2753 or Courtney Betzel at cjbetzel@fcps.edu or 703-718-2641.