Professionals Prepare Local Nutcracker Dancers

Professionals Prepare Local Nutcracker Dancers

Performances at West Potomac High School.

— Now in its ninth year, the Alexandria Community Nutcracker company is hard

Where and When

Alexandria Community Nutcracker at West Potomac High School Auditorium

  • Wednesday, Nov. 29, 5:30 – Special Scout Show: Discounted tickets are available for all Scout troops. Email alexandriadance2@....

  • Thursday, Nov. 30, 5:30

  • Friday, Dec. 1, 6:30

  • Saturday, Dec. 2, 2:30

  • Saturday, Dec. 2, 6:30 – Military Appreciation Night: Discounted tickets are available for all military families, retired and active duty.

at work, ready to hop, skip and leap across the stage in festive, funky and fabulous holiday glory. Professional choreographers give the show a big kick this year.

Unique in its approach to the Christmas classic, the performance showcases several genres of dance, including hip hop, ballet, tap, Irish, jazz, pointe and gymnastics. Putting the “community” into practice, the dancers range in age from 3 to adult, and hail from several local studios as well as most of the area schools: West Potomac, Hayfield Secondary, Carl Sandburg, Waynewood, Fort Hunt, Belle View, Hollin Meadows, Stratford Landing, St. Luke’s Day School, St. Louis, Hybla Valley, St. Mary's, and Bucknell.

Leading the troupe are directors Courtney Betzel, Gennifer Difilippo and Adrienne Magnuson, who have again assembled a talented lineup of licorice, mice, and sweet tarts surrounding Clara and Fritz, bringing the famous story to life through dance.

Guest choreographers were eager to lend their professional creativity and vision by leading the dancers through select numbers. Brittany Hall, a graduate of the West Potomac Academy program, now works in Los Angeles as a professional dancer, and she jumped at the chance to work with the company. “It has been seven years since being back at WP and I was flooded with great memories. Our rehearsal was long and tiring, but the girls pushed hard and never gave up during the process.”

Paul McGill, a professional dancer from New York City, agreed the girls worked their tails off this year. “For the Russian number, they were flexible and made it their own. The hard work and improvement in just one day was astounding.”

Washington Wizards dancer Christie Elise is a fixture with the troupe, joining again this year. “I loved working with the middle schoolers. They were eager to learn and so excited about dancing a hip hop piece. They worked hard and we finished learning the dance in one practice.”

It’s clear that the students are not the only ones benefitting from the partnership with the choreographers.

“Working with the students of the Nutcracker recharged me for the year. They inspired me just as much as I inspired them – it was a fair exchange of love and passion for dance,” said Ebone Simone Johnson, a professional dancer from New York City. “I truly believe that the children are our future. After a certain amount of years, teachers and professionals forget why we do what we do, and it takes a group of young people like the students of the Alexandria Community Nutcracker to remind you why you started in the first place. My heart will forever be with these kids. Every time I work with them it’s nothing but love.”

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at