Lufkin ballet company host 13th annual Nutcracker performance

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Sugar plum fairies, mice and toy soldierstook center stage in the Academy of Gymnastics and Dance's annual performanceof The Nutcracker.

"It's a great celebration it'ssuch a tradition the nutcracker story, it's all based around the Christmasholiday scene," said Darlene Atkinson, Owner, Academy of Gymnastics andDance.

For 13 years the studio's balletcompany has been capturing the spirit of the Christmas season.

Studio owner Darlene Atkinson says herdancers are using their talent to spread holiday cheer throughout thecommunity.

"We had a competition dance teamand a competition cheer team so they were very interested in a ballet companythat didn't travel but were able to put on performances such as this," saidAtkinson.

The company is made up of 80 dancersfrom kindergarten to high school seniors and they begin preparing for theirChristmas performance in June.

"My favorite part is when thesugar plum fairy comes out," said Bella Chong, dancer.

17-year-old Elsi Hernandez has beendancing since she was three-years-old and this is her 5th Nutcrackerperformance.

"I still enjoy it every year,"said Hernandez.

For her final performance the Lufkinsenior is starring in the show as Clara, a young girl who dreams of anutcracker prince in a battle against a mouse king.

"I just fell in love with it Ilike dancing, I like expressing myself through it, it's definitely a privilegeI love dancing and I love entertaining people," said Hernandez.

In a performance that will take the audienceinto a world outside their own just in time for the holidays.

"It's a great show put on bychildren its just a great holiday beginning," said Atkinson.

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