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Park City Ballet West Academy students to perform the Nutcracker

Park City Ballet West Academy students will perform the Nutcracker on Saturday, Dec. 9.

The Ballet West Academy Peggy Bergman Park City Campus is bringing to life two Nutcracker Suite shows in the Eccles Center at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Allison DeBona is the principal of the campus. She said it's a brand new production she and her husband Rex Tilton created last year.

“We both were dancers with the company for 15 years," DeBona said. "We took everything we knew from being professional ballet dancers and brought it up to your city. And we're very proud of it.”

DeBona said the Nutcracker Suite production is shorter than the full version but does cover the whole storyline.

She invited families and people of all ages to attend the event. Tickets for children 11 and under are $5 and tickets for adults are $18.

“I want this to become a family tradition for everyone in Park City,” she said.

DeBona has been the principal of the Park City academy for two years. So far, she said the school has grown to have about 150 students.

“I'd love to see about 220 kids in the future, we have space for them. We have classes for kids starting at the age of three, going up until the age of 18.”

The academy also has programs for other types of dance, including tap, jazz, hip hop and musical theater. DeBona said her goal is to help all the kids have a career on stage or get into a college program.

To help with that effort, she said the academy has a program called College Month. The program hosts a series of master classes taught by current college dance directors and professors. During those classes, students who are ready to apply for college have the opportunity to learn from them and ask questions.

“Our goal is to just help them understand that their time spent in the studio will help them have a future whether it's in ballet or really in anything else because when you're training in ballet, it really just gives you the tools to be successful at anything,” DeBona said.

Ballet West is in its 60th season and is opening its Nutcracker production the same weekend as Park City’s student show. Ballet West’s show runs Dec. 8 through Dec. 27. DeBona said some Park City students are cast in that production as well.