There is a buzz of excitement at the Howick Dance Studio, as a large group of ballerinas lace up their pointe shoes and change into costume.
Another group of little ones in their tutus makes a quick exit with their parents waiting to drive them home.
The rehearsals for The Nutcracker, a classical ballet production, have been timed with clockwork precision as the cast of 100 for the upcoming production has been broken up into smaller groups
To be hosted on June 29 and 30 at the Hawkins Theatre at 13 Ray Small Drive Papakura, Sharon Barber, Howick Dance Studio principal says that it is a six-month start-to-finish production, choreographed at Christmas time.
The Nutcracker is a two-act classical ballet based on Hoffmann’s 1816 fairy tale that tells the story of a little girl who goes to the Land of Sweets on Christmas Eve.
“We have a very dedicated team of volunteers and have ex-students who never leave me. They never go away, I tell them that you are here for at least 20 years,” says Sharon who was trained at the Auckland Ballet Academy and in London at the Royal Academy of Dance headquarters. She established the Howick Dance Studio in 1992.
“There is a lot of bonding and friendships by the time we finish with the production. Also, ours is the only studio that uses live music.”
However, she admits that all her productions in the past have had a cast of 200.
“Sadly, now-a-days education comes first, and then arts. And I am very particular about the fact that the children have to come for rehearsals every Saturday. We sign a contract with the parents.”
Talking about the magical transformation in little children she says, “We instil a love of dance and every little girl who comes in here, leaves with such confidence, posture, poise and grace.”
The Nutcracker on Saturday, June 29 2pm-6pm. Sunday, June 30 1pm-5pm