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Saying goodbye to ‘The Nutcracker’

Jessica Curley
Park Record Intern

The Annual Nutcracker hosted by Park City Dance, now known as Peggy Bergmann Ballet West Academy in Park City, take place Sunday, Dec. 11. The performance is very special because it’s our studio’s last “The Nutcracker.”

It took me a while to accept this would be our final performance of “The Nutcracker.” The show has always been my tradition over the holidays, and I’ve grown up with it throughout the years.

I was 4 years old when I first danced in the show. I was a little buffoon in the dance meant for the youngest, least experienced dancers.

My first moments on stage were like no other: I felt a sensation of heat from the bright lights glaring down on me. When looking out into the audience, I could see dark figures in the crowd staring right back.

I’m not going to lie. It was very nerve-wracking. But as soon as I started dancing, I forgot all about my anxiety and enjoyed the moment.

Twelve years later, I’m still performing in “The Nutcracker.”

Throughout all those years, I’ve been a mouse, a Raggedy Andy doll, a Spanish dancer, a soldier king, a waltzing flower and a snowflake.

The troupe’s annual event isn’t only fun for the dancers, it’s also a hit with locals. I didn’t realize how many enjoyed this show, until I saw the hundreds of people gathered in the audience. Whether they are family and friends of dancers, or just people wanting to attend a holiday show, it’s nice to know our work is appreciated.

As a studio, before our actual show, we travel to the four elementary schools in town, as well as the Abbington Senior Living Home in Heber City, to offer sneak peeks of the ballet. It always brings a smile to their faces.

Dancers, Faith Staley and Jenna Nagie have all been a part of this show for many years, and they explained what it means to them.

“’The Nutcracker’ is the reason I started ballet at Park City Dance. It is an amazing production that has inspired generations of dancers,” Staley said. “I love being a part of the tradition, and I especially enjoy the outreach shows.”

Nagie added, “Growing up, I always looked forward to attending Park City Dance’s ‘The Nutcracker’ with my family. After a few years, I had the opportunity to perform in the show and I was beyond excited.
“I have now been in The Nutcracker for six years and have been in a variety of different roles,” she said. “It’s not only a fun performance opportunity, but it’s another way to get in the holiday spirit.”

In the end, performing in “The Nutcracker” has been an amazing experience that I’ll never forget, and although I’m sad it’s over, I know Ballet West will present more opportunities for us to perform, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Peggy Bergmann Ballet West Academy in Park City.

The Peggy Bergmann Ballet West Academy will present the final Park City “Nutcracker” at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd. The performance originally began with the Park City Dance Academy 15 years ago. Tickets range from $20 to $25 for adults and $15 to $20 for children. Tickets are available by visiting or by calling 855-222-2849.

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