TEMPLETON — The North County Dance and Performing Arts Foundation’s annual production of “The Nutcracker Ballet” will run from Dec. 5-8 at the Templeton Performing Arts Center on the Templeton High School Campus.

Guests both young and old are invited to enjoy this timeless holiday tradition at six performances on one weekend only.

Choose from an evening performance on Friday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. or matinee and afternoon performances at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7 and noon and 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8. A “Student Night” open dress rehearsal on Thursday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. is an added option. For tickets, visit www.ncdpaf.org.

In its 23rd year of production, NCDPAF’s “The Nutcracker Ballet” highlights the beloved Tchaikovsky classical score which contains some of the most recognizable music in the world and traditional ballet choreography to tell the story of Clara Stahlbaum and her magical Nutcracker doll who comes to life in her dreams and accompanies her on a magical journey. Seventy-six dancers, performers including choreographers and directors from North County studios including Class Act Dance, Main Street Dance and Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation audition in September and rehearse weekly through the fall months before presenting their pre-professional level talent on stage in December.

Directing the production again this year is Cheryle Armstrong, owner of Class Act Dance studio and Artistic Director of the Paso Robles Chamber Ballet. Joining as Assistant Director is Taylor Santero, director of Class Act Dance’s Jazz Company. The talented choreography team is made up of Jocelyn Willis, owner of Main Street Dance studio, Theresa Comstock, Class Act Dance instructor, Molly McKiernan, ballet instructor at both Class Act Dance and CORE Dance Studio in San Luis Obispo, and professional choreographer Kristen McLaughlin. The production is produced by NCDPAF Board of Directors along with a generous and talented team of parent volunteers.

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Dancing the role of Clara Stahlbaum is Kailey Ardouin, member of Class Act Dance’s Ballet Ensemble Company and an 8th grade honors student at Atascadero Middle School.

Enchanting the audience as the Sugar Plum Fairy is Julia Steffenauer, a graduate of F.F.S.

Private School. Julia is 18 and has been dancing for over eight years.

Professional ballet dancer and instructor, Peter Hershey, will impress as the Cavalier. Peter began his dance career at age 11 at Seiskaya Ballet Academy in New York and went on to attend both the School of American Ballet and The Julliard School. NCDPAF is honored to have a talented guest dancer in the Cavalier role.

The North County Dance and Performing Arts Foundation (NCDPAF) is a non-profit organization that has been dedicated to preserving and promoting the performing arts in northern San Luis Obispo County for over 20 years. They provide education, scholarships and opportunities to participate in the performing arts for the youth in the community. These programs, which include their Ballet and Jazz Performing Companies, help to build character, self-esteem, confidence, physical fitness, talent and teamwork. Since the foundation’s inception, they have worked at “Keeping the Arts Thriving” through various performances which have included “The Nutcracker Ballet,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Let It Be,” “The Magical Tale of Cinderella” and “E.P.I.C.”