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11:55 AM Thu, Dec. 13th

YMCA presents Nutcracker, Holly Jolly Christmas recital

Courtesy photo

Those who missed the Prescott YMCA’s production of “The Nutcracker” have one more chance to dance with the Sugar Plum Fairy this weekend.

Every year, the organization puts on a rendition of “The Nutcracker” that follows its December dance recital, said YMCA Dance Program Coordinator Katy Gifford. The holiday favorite will have an encore performance at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Prescott Public Library, 215 E. Goodwin St.

“It’s fun for the kids, they get to do different parts every year,” Gifford said. “We have new kids in the program, some kids have left us, but they all get to do new parts or some of the same parts every year.”

The kids look forward to it every year and work hard, said Artistic Director and Master Ballet Teacher Myrta George. Auditions were in August and rehearsals were in September, she said. That’s in addition to their normal classes which can range from one to three per week.

Even though these recitals have been going on for seven years, it’s a challenge to let people know that the YMCA does them, George said.

“People don’t know we’re here. They don’t know the quality of classical ballet we offer,” she said. “This is a challenge to get the word out.”

Still, the kids love it and it’s definitely rewarding, Gifford said. Some of them have already decided what parts they want for next year’s performance, she said.

“The Nutcracker” also brings kids of different levels together too, Gifford said. There’s 5- and 6-year-olds on stage with 15- and 16-year-olds doing the whole performance at the same time, she said.

“We have creative dance classes for 3- and 4-year-olds and they know if they stay in the program and if they get into the pre-ballet one, they can be a mouse,” Gifford said. “That’s something even the 3- and 4-year-olds get to look forward to.”

For more information about YMCA dance programs, visit The performance is free to attend.