‘A Nutcracker Story’ enchants sold-out crowds

The Sugar Plum Fairy (Elise Payne) performs “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” in “A Nutcracker Story” Friday evening. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Friday evening was filled with enchantment for those lucky enough to get a seat to the sold-out performances of “A Nutcracker Story” performed by students of local dance studio Courtney’s Dance Artistry. The event took place at East Elementary School.

Studio Owner Courtney Foshee shared, “This was our first, our very first ‘Nutcracker’ winter performance. I’ve wanted to do it for a long time, and I think everyone was really excited.”

In all, 47 of Foshee’s students were involved in the performance, with practices beginning in October.

“A Nutcracker Story” has a mild, modern blend with more upbeat pop songs compared to the original full orchestral ballet.

“I wanted it to be more, not like the ballet, it’s ‘A Nutcracker Story,’ which is similar to ‘The Nutcracker’ with modern music that still makes sense to the story,” said Foshee, “but all the ballet were the original songs from ‘The Nutcracker.’”

Foshee was overwhelmed with the response prior to Friday evening.

“We did two shows in a row,” she said. “The first show was originally a practice show. We were only going to do one show and we were going to do a practice show before we let people in, but everyone was sold out on the second show and everyone was wanting more tickets and I went ‘Okay, we’ll sell tickets to the first show and then more people can come!’ I think it was pretty packed! It was way bigger than I expected! Everyone was all for it!”

She said of her students, “I’m super proud of how my dancers did! I mean, two shows in a row is rough and they’re ready! We’re going to have a party at the dance studio. I’m super proud of everyone, and all the moms that helped were amazing.”

Asked about her studio, Foshee said, “I think it’s six years now, I’ve been dancing since I was 3 and in high school I thought about other career choices, but I mean pretty much by junior year I decided I wanted to go to college for dance and then teach dance, because I love kids, I like the teaching. I’ve always wanted to do ‘The Nutcracker!’

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Mother Ginger (Brianna Carroll) poses with her Polichinelles in “A Nutcracker Story” Friday evening. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)