The students of Dance & Music Academy in Woodstock invite the community to kick off the holiday season with “The Nutcracker: Land of the Sweets.”

The dance studio’s annual production of “The Nutcracker: Land of the Sweets” is playing in the Roswell Cultural Arts Center on Thanksgiving weekend.

This one hour show, choreographed by Jillian Mitchell and performed by the students of Dance & Music Academy, is a delight for audiences of all ages and the perfect length for the entire family.

“We are excited the about venue change because of the excellent seating and beautiful atmosphere at the Cultural Arts Center. This theater also allows for special effects such as fog, snow, and lighting design to be incorporated into the show,” said Neta Thurman, director of the dance academy.

Traditionally Dance & Music Academy has performed the second half of the classic Nutcracker ballet, but this year’s performance features an expanded story.

New this season is a scene in which young Clara,played by Caroline Musser and Carlianne Timbol, dreams of an older version herself and her prince. The older Clara and the prince, played by Etowah sophomore Livy Sells and guest artist Alex Fasselt, perform a dance in the new scene.

Also added to the academy’s performance this year is the iconic Mouse King battle scene, which was choreographed by instructor Natalie Berry. The instructors and dancers have been preparing for the show since August.

Among the cast are several students from a variety of local high schools. From River Ridge, sophomore Maria Espinal will be dancing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Aarya Kothari, a junior, will dance the role of Dew Drop Fairy. Cherokee High School junior Avery Hallett will be dancing the role of Snow Queen and Sequoyah senior Erika Suarez will be the Lead Angel.

The students, ranging in age from 5 to 18, have two performances, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 29th and 30th. at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St. in Roswell. Tickets can be purchased at

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