Young ‘Nutcracker’ Dancers Get First Taste of the Stage

Aubree Dunn gets her first fitting for her Party Girl costume.

The pace is picking up as American Midwest Ballet’s The Nutcracker nears its opening performance on November 19!

This past week, AMB’s professional company artists and many of our community dancers – who had been rehearsing separately all through October – held their first rehearsals together.

More than 45 performers comprise the community cast: young dancers ages 9 and up, chosen from city-wide auditions; guests from our ballet classes at Girls Inc.; performers from Omaha’s Viswanatya Niketan school of classical Indian dance; and adults.

The combined rehearsals are their chance to practice alongside our international roster of 21 professional dancers, with whom they’ll be performing at the Hoff Center and Orpheum Theater.

Baby mice enthusiastically rehearse their scenes with the full cast.


“The blending of our professional dancers’ skill and artistry with our young dancers’ sparkle and energy is part of what makes The Nutcracker so magical,” said Erika Overturff, AMB’s artistic director. “And it’s an exciting way for our young performers to learn important lessons about responsibility, professionalism, and working together in a group.”

Company artists Marsalis AnderSon-Clausell (top) and Kelanie Murphy and Richard Marks (above) work with community dancers.

AMB’s The Nutcracker will take the stage in these performances:

Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center, Council Bluffs:

  • Saturday, November 19 – 2 & 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, November 20 – 2 pm
    (sensory-friendly performance, designed to increase accessibility for people on the autism spectrum.)

Orpheum Theater, Omaha:

  • Saturday, December 3 – 2 & 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, December 4 – 2 pm
Party Girl Empriss McGhee-Garrison is ready for ‘The Nutcracker’. Are you?

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