Westport Academy of Dance forced to postpone annual performance of ‘The Nutcracker’


Photo contributed by Madeline Michalowski ’22

Madeline Michalowski ’22, one of the Spanish dancers, waits backstage at the Westport Academy of Dance’s 2019 performance of The Nutcracker.

Hours and hours of rehearsals each week, costume fittings and memorable show weekends are traditions the dancers at the Westport Academy of Dance have grown to love throughout the years. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the Westport Academy was scheduled to film their performance of “The Nutcracker” rather than performing live. However, now, dancers will have to wait until the spring to perform, as their show has been postponed. 

The Nutcracker” has played a significant role at the Westport Academy of Dance for the past 38 years, and dancers continuously look forward to their new roles each year. 

“The majority of the studio participates in the show because of how magical it feels,” Eden Miller ’21 said. “Whether we are rehearsing at the studio or running around backstage, it gives each and every dancer an unparalleled feeling of joy and excitement.”

Whether we are rehearsing at the studio or running around backstage, it gives each and every dancer an unparalleled feeling of joy and excitement

— Eden Miller '21

When the studio announced that they would be creating a film rather than performing live, the dancers had mixed opinions, as the experience would not be the same.

“Performing for an audience is what all of us love to do so hearing that your last year isn’t going to be a traditional one isn’t the best.” Priya Nandagopal ’21 said. “However, once I put everything into perspective, I really enjoyed the idea, because it was the closest thing we could have to a live performance.”

Despite all the hard work the studio had already put into the 2020 performance of the Nutcracker, the performance had to be postponed to the Spring due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Westport. This year has been full of changes at the studio, since a rotational system has been put in place to reduce the amount of dancers in each class and Zoom classes have become the new normal. The seniors are the most affected by these changes, as their relationships with teachers and peers have suffered.

“We are losing all of the little traditions that we have always known and loved,” Annagrace McManus ’21 said. “[But] I’m happy that we still get to dance [and] are making the most of it.”