The Nutcracker

In December we present our annual production of the classic Nutcracker ballet. This is a wonderful opportunity for those ballet students who really enjoy performing. Through rehearsing for and performing in the Nutcracker, participants are able to gain an appreciation for the time and effort involved in preparing for a show. Performing with fellow students is an invaluable experience for young dancers, and being part of such a classic tradition will give them fond memories for years to come.

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Nutcracker Audition

The Nutcracker audition is held annually on the last weekend of August at our Old City studios.  The 2023 auditions for the 14th Annual Nutcracker production were held on Saturday, Aug 26 and Sunday, Aug 27.  The 15th Annual Nutcracker auditions will be held on Saturday, Aug 24 and Sunday, Aug 25, 2024.

There is one Nutcracker audition.  There are no make-up auditions.  You must attend the in-studio audition to participate in the production.
YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER FOR THE AUDITION BY AUGUST 15.  This will allow us to plan for spacing of groups.


Early to mid-December each year. The 2023 dates are NOVEMBER 30-DECEMBER 3.  We expect to have 2 casts and 6 performances. Each cast performs three times. Each show lasts about one hour and thirty minutes.

Saturday, November 11 - Mandatory In-Studio Dress Rehearsal

Saturday, November 18 - Mandatory Full Cast Run-Through at Old City studio

Thursday, November 30 – Red Cast Dress Rehearsal

Friday, December 1 – Green Cast Dress Rehearsal

Saturday, December 2  –  10:30a, 2:00p & 5:30p Performances

Sunday, December 3 – 10:30a, 2:00p & 5:30p Performances

In a local theater. The 2023 performances will be held at the Mandell Theater at Drexel University, 33rd & Chestnut Streets (3220 Chestnut St), Philadelphia, PA.

Students currently enrolled in the Primary and Pre-Professional ballet programs (Ballet 1 and higher) at the Philadelphia Dance Academy are eligible to participate. All Ballet 1/1X dancers need to be at least 6 years old by the audition date to be eligible to participate. The Adult/Teen ballet classes are not eligible to participate.

The participation fee is $300 and is automatically charged to the primary credit card on file on the first day of rehearsal. This includes a Nutcracker t-shirt and a digital download of the performance. This does not include any tickets.

The first rehearsal will be Saturday, September 9, 2023 from 10:00a-6:00p.  Students rehearse at our main Old City location on the weekends. Most rehearsals are Saturdays between 1:00pm and 6:30pm. Some groups may rehearse on Sundays.  Most cast members will not need to be there the entire time, just for one or two hours.

You may miss only one rehearsal, although we would prefer you do not miss rehearsal. This is very important. Young dancers need all their fellow cast members present in order to best learn spacing and choreography.

Dancers may not miss the mandatory dress rehearsals or in-studio run-through.  If you have a conflict for these dates, you should opt out of participating.

We provide all costumes. In addition to these borrowed costumes, students must wear their own nude leotards, footed pink or flesh toned tights, and pink or flesh toned ballet slippers. The tights and shoes should be the same color.  Other footwear may be required depending on the role. Boys may be required to wear a specific color tights or socks depending on their role.


Yes. There is a mandatory Dress Rehearsal for each cast, once at the studio and once at the theater venue the week of the show.  

Mandatory Dress Rehearsal is TENTATIVELY scheduled for:

Saturday, November 11 - Mandatory Dress Rehearsal @ Old City studio

Saturday, November 18 - Mandatory Full-Cast Run-Through @ Old City studio

Thursday, November 30 – Red Cast Dress Rehearsal @ Mandell Theater

Friday, December 1 – Green Cast Dress Rehearsal @ Mandell Theater

They are $30-$45 per ticket. They vary in price depending on seat location and go on sale online on October 1.  Performances sell out quickly.

There will be a Cast Member Ticket Pre-Sale on September 29-30.  Families will be able to purchase a set number of tickets using an access code.  This number will be determined by number of participants and seating capacity.  For example, for the 2022 production families were able to purchase 10 tickets during the pre-sale.  This code is for cast members' immediate families and not to be shared.

Tickets purchased beyond the limit, will automatically be refunded.  
Yes. We always have both casts professionally filmed. 

Dancers will receive a digital download of the performance in late January.