Nutcracker Week Preparations

Ballet Chelsea and Randazzo Dance Company, local dance studios, are busy preparing for the homestretch of their 2021 Nutcracker performances.
With less than a week left until performances, dancers are faced with an increased amount of dance rehearsals and a stressful tech week. Alex Ellender, a dancer at Ballet Chelsea, is feeling the pressure and excitement that tech week brings each year.

“It’s incredibly exciting to have everyone together and watch the whole show come together,” Ellender said. “It’s also so stressful because we have dress rehearsals right after school, which go late at night, but we also have to keep up with homework and prepare our bodies for performing.”

Tech week includes extra rehearsals, which ensure studios are prepared and performances can reach their best potential. Dancers are required to arrive at theaters directly after school to begin rehearsals and are not released until the rehearsal is complete, which can sometimes be late at night. This can be a challenge for dancers, who are also students, when it comes to staying on top of schoolwork.

Abby Plavnick, a dancer at Ballet Chelsea, knows the many struggles between balancing tech week and school.

“The pressure from school and dance is a lot and there are so many rehearsals on the weekdays,” Plavnick. “You’re dancing so many hours a day during production week, which makes it hard to find time for school.”

The Nutcracker will be the first time since the beginning of the pandemic that both studios have been on stage performing in front of a live audience. Moose Gultekin, a dancer and rehearsal assistant at Randazzo Dance Company, is more than ready to get back on stage.

“Getting on stage is the best part, it really is,” Gultekin said. “I love the feeling of that rush of adrenaline you get right before you go on, you just know that all the hard work you’ve done to prepare for this moment is going to be worth it.”