The Dance Academy of Stuart to Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Nutcracker Ballet

NOV 11, 2017 – Stuart, FL – This December, The Dance Academy of Stuart will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its annual Nutcracker performance at South Fork High School, December 13th through the 17th.  Under the direction of Dance Academy of Stuart’s owner and creative director, Alicia Chodera, this annual ballet production has become a highlight of the hundreds of local family’s holiday festivities.

When Alicia Chodera debuted her first production in 1998 at Felix A. Williams Elementary School with less than 50 students, limited costumes, and family made props she had no idea what it would grow into 20 years later. Today the Dance Academy of Stuart Nutcracker has developed into the largest Nutcracker production on the Treasure Coast with two public performances, two educational field trip performances, beautiful professional props, hundreds of sparkling costumes and an enthusiastic cast of over 130 local students.

“This is only made possible by the wonderful families who volunteer their time from helping with costumes, set design, photography, working backstage and front of the house. It’s a wonderful sense of family and community. It also wouldn’t be possible without my dedicated and talented staff, some who have been with me since the beginning” says Chodera.

Preparation for the Nutcracker is rigorous. DAS begins rehearsals in early September. From the mice, to the candy canes, to Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy, every role is important and special to our dancers. Emily Johnson 12 years old says, “When I read the cast list and was cast as the ballerina doll, I was so excited! I have wanted to dance this role for years and now I know all the hard work pays off”. 

Over the last 20 years, DAS has presented the Nutcracker over 75 times, seeing over 2,000 young dancers participate in this timeless Christmas classic. Some of those dancers have gone on to enjoy dance careers in ballet companies and theatres.

Nikki Seo, a senior at Martin County High School, says: “After twelve years of performing the Nutcracker, I can say that it’s definitely my favorite time of the year. Being able to take each role and make it your own while performing on stage is easily a feeling I will never forget, even after I graduate. I think I can speak for all of us here at DAS when I say the Nutcracker means the world to us”. 

In addition to the full-length public performances, The Dance Academy of Stuart will be hosting the Nutcracker Tea Party on December 3rd. And as in previous years, DAS dancers will bring the beauty of the Nutcracker out of the theatre and into the community. Excerpts from the ballet will be performed on December 23rd and 30th at the Florida Oceanographic Lights On the Lagoon, and also for the Palm City Nursing & Rehab Center.

Tickets go on sale for the Nutcracker ballet starting on November 11th and can be purchased from You can contact us at or 772-220-9440 for more information.

About the Dance Academy of Stuart –

Since 1997 the Dance Academy of Stuart and its founder Alicia Chodera have been providing quality dance education through a loving environment and strong commitment to excellence. With three studios and the largest number of classes available on the Treasure Coast, there is something for every dancer. From 3 years to adult, our supportive nurturing environment is the perfect place to let loose, work hard and have fun!