Unique take on ‘The Nutcracker’

Faith Corlett performs the Arabian solo in the 2018 “Mixed Nuts” performance. (photo by Angela Sterling)

Unique take on ‘The Nutcracker’

Students at Lynch Dance Institute (LDI), 12227 Poway Road, have been working hard preparing for the “Mixed Nuts” holiday performance, featuring a bold twist on a holiday classic. Several Poway residents have spent countless hours perfecting their talent for the show, including Reagan Bailleul, Katelyn Barrozo-Looney, Faith Corlett, Ada Comer, Alison Fisher, Allison Julius, Brynn Julius, Kayla Mead, Ella Morin and Sophie Ward. They look forward to this performance all year, as it has become a holiday tradition at the studio.

The “Mixed Nuts” production is a departure of the traditional “Nutcracker” story.

“We felt strongly that our dancers need to have a deeper purpose, to embody real life and its emotional components. We wanted to explore the power of a greater good, that something or someone that inspires, perhaps a guiding light,” said Alex Dickson, co-owner of LDI. “We dug deep with the kids, encouraging them to tap into their own life experiences, to reach into their minds, hearts and souls for inspiration.”

The magical story begins with Clara at her family’s annual holiday party. She receives a special gift from her mother, a magical key that signifies her coming of age, which has been passed down from generation to generation. Later that evening when Clara places the key necklace around her neck, she is instantly transported from real life to a colorful dream world. She first encounters mice and toy soldiers, who after battling, lead her to a magical forest where Clara meets her Guiding Light. Clara, now armed with confidence and a newfound curiosity, is led to a magical door and decides to embark on an unknown journey.

“The dancers and teachers at Lynch Dance Institute have put in countless hours of hard work into our annual ‘Mixed Nuts’ production. I am beyond excited and proud to help represent LDI in Clara’s magical journey, as she is led by her Guiding Light, in hopes of better understanding herself and her place in the unknown world. This twist on ‘The Nutcracker’ has continued to surprise me and I know audience members will be left in awe after watching,” said Ella Cruz, LDI dancer.

Performances are on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. in the Joan B. Kroc Performing Arts Center, 6611 University Ave. Tickets may be purchased at

Young dancers enjoy performing in the party scene during the Lynch Dance Institute production of “Mixed Nuts.” (photo by Angela Sterling)

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