The Nutcracker

A magical holiday tradition for our students, families, and audience.
A great first experience for our students to fall in love with the stage in this classical story ballet.

The Nutcracker 2021

A joyful return to our full Nutcracker production in-theatre


Nutcracker Prep Classes
September 7 - 10, 2021

Nutcracker Prep Classes are highly recommended, but not required, to audition for The Nutcracker. Dancers will work on technique, choreography, and audition etiquette to prepare them to audition at their best!

Nutcracker Auditions
Saturday, September 11, 2021

Ages 5-7 | 9:30-10:30am
Ages 8-10 | 11:00am-12:30pm
Ages 11-13 | 1:00-2:30pm
Ages 14+ | 2:45-4:15pm
en Pointe | 4:15-5:15pm


Saturday Afternoons

Dancers will attend weekly rehearsals at ABAA studios.

Date Event
9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16 Rehearsal
10/23 NO REHEARSAL: Fall Break
10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20 Rehearsal
11/27 NO REHEARSAL: Thanksgiving Break
12/4, 12/11 Rehearsal
12/13-12/17 Nutcracker Week
In-Theatre Rehearsals
12/18 Performances


Saturday, December 18, 2021
2:00pm & 6:00pm

Nutcracker FAQs

Any dancer age 5 through adult enrolled in a ballet class at ABAA for the 2020-2021 School Year can participate. You must attend the audition to be cast in a role. Dancers must sign the Nutcracker Contract and agree to be on time and in attendance for all rehearsals and performances.

Yes. To be eligible to participate in the ABAA Nutcracker, dancers must be enrolled in a ballet class at ABAA for the entire School Year.

We try to cast as many dancers as we have costumes for! In 2019, we completely filled all casting with 150 dancers and expect that to be the capacity for future years. If you are not cast this year, try again next year and ask us how you can prepare. We will try to help you meet your goals.

We do not have a formal pre-registration process at this time. However, it will speed up the check-in process if you complete the Nutcracker Audition Form ahead of time and bring it to the audition. This form is available online (above, PDF) and at the ABAA office. You can also be measured ahead of time - just stop by the front desk during the week of Nutcracker Prep Classes to do so.

On audition day, please arrive 30 minutes prior to your audition time to check in. Your audition fee and measurements must be taken at time of registration if measurements weren't taken in advance.

Girls should wear a black leotard, pink tights, pink ballet shoes, and their hair secured in a ballet bun. Younger dancers from the Pre-Ballet Division may wear their light pink leotards. Boys should wear a white t-shirt, black pants/capris/tights, and black ballet shoes.

No, this is a closed audition. We want to take the pressure off our brave dancers!

The audition fee and participation fee are detailed above. This covers maintenance and tailoring of the costumes, teacher/choreographer expenses, theatre security, and a performance DVD and photography with additional print cost. We try to make this an affordable opportunity for all families.

2021 Fees: Audition Fee, $25; Participation Fee, $250

An emailed casting notification will be sent to the address on each dancer’s audition form, whether they are cast or not. This message will be sent no later than the Friday after the audition date. It will include the dancer’s schedule and participation contract. Please contact the studio if you do not receive an email by Saturday morning one week after auditions, or if you have questions about the schedule.

The deadline to turn in your contract with participation fee is 8pm the Monday 9 days after auditions. If we have not received your contract by the deadline, we must assume you have decided not to participate. To ensure on-time casting, this deadline is final, and we appreciate your attention to it.

You will receive your role at your first scheduled rehearsal. We continue to utilize this practice in order to encourage dancers to accept and perform any part or parts they have been awarded -- navigating the casting process is an important part of any dance education!

The directors will not discuss casting decisions in any manner. Please trust that our decisions are in the best interest of every dancer involved.

All of the roles in our ballet are “good parts” and are essential to the magic of the production. There are many factors we consider when casting roles: age, ability, size of the costume, style of choreography best suited for a dancer -- the list goes on! If you had your heart set on a specific role, please remember that there will be future opportunities. We ask for your trust in our casting, and we know you will have a great time onstage!

The directors will not discuss casting decisions in any manner. Please trust that our decisions are in the best interest of every dancer involved.

Yes! Absolutely! Each group has a limited number of rehearsals before we begin to run the entire show, so we ask all dancers to be sure they can commit to all rehearsals, unless approved by the director before before turning in a contract. If you have conflicts with rehearsals this year, try out next year.

Rehearsals take place on Saturdays from 12-7 pm. Each part will rehearse for 30-90 minutes. Please indicate on your audition form if there is a time frame within which you are unavailable to rehearse. Any missed rehearsals must be indicated on the audition form and approved ahead of time by the director.

To all rehearsals, dress rehearsals, costume fittings, etc., girls should wear pink tights, a solid color leotard, ballet shoes, and their hair in a neat, secure ballet bun (unless specified otherwise in our Dress Rehearsal & Performance Hair information available to cast members). Boys should wear white t-shirts, black tights, and black ballet shoes, with hair neat.

No.The cost of our elaborate Nutcracker costumes is high, and we do not believe in asking parents to make such a purchase year after year. Instead, we have assembled a set of high-quality costumes that are carefully cleaned and stored for the following year after use. Each dancer is responsible for treating the ABAA costume(s) they wear with respect and care. For hygienic reasons, dancers are expected to provide their own tights, shoes, and undergarments as required by their role.

Performance dates are detailed above. For the 2021 Nutcracker, all dancers will perform in both show times on Saturday, December 18, 2021.

All shows will be performed at the Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 S 4th St, Minneapolis, MN 55455

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