Mt. Pleasant School of Dance brings beloved classic to the stage

The holiday season simply wouldn’t be complete without a little magic. And what could be more magical than the story of a little girl whose toy nutcracker comes to life on Christmas Eve before transporting her to a land of adventure, beauty, and music?

Of course, that’s the story of the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker. Thanks to Mt. Pleasant School of Dance, the story will be coming to life on stage this weekend in Mt. Pleasant. 

Courtesy Mt. Pleasant School of Dance

“I've been dancing my entire life, so the nostalgia of Nutcracker and the holidays has been significant for me,” says Andrea Purrenhage, Mt. Pleasant School of Dance owner and artistic director, noting that the show’s cast is composed entirely of local dancers (with the youngest being just five years old).

The company will perform the ballet at the Mt. Pleasant High School Performing Arts Center Friday, December 8; Saturday, December 9; and Sunday, December 10.

Purrenhage adds that a special Saturday afternoon performance will be sensory-friendly.

“Sometimes people will say, ‘I can't bring my small child to a show,’ or, ‘I can't bring my child who might be differently-abled to a show because that would disturb people around me,’” she explains. “And I very much respect that. But I want there to be a safe space for everybody to experience the arts. And this show is just for that.” 

“The lights will be dimmed, the music will not be as loud,” Purrenhage continues. “Participants are welcome to stand during the show, they can move around, (or) they can dance in the aisles. It is very, very dear to my heart to make sure that we have everybody in the community feel welcome.”

Courtesy Mt. Pleasant School of Dance

Since opening in 2019, Mt. Pleasant School of Dance has been offering something for everyone in the community to enjoy all year round, featuring classes for children and adults alike in a variety of dance genres.

Tickets to this year’s holiday performances of The Nutcracker can be purchased at or by visiting the dance school’s website.

Purrenhage says that while the audience will enjoy the performance, the experience will also be invaluable to the performers themselves.

“Dance offers children a lot more than just movement,” she concludes. “It gives them discipline, it gives them self-confidence; it gives them grit, and determination. And those are life skills that translate every area of their experience. And I think that seeing a child go through those phases with dance is one of the most rewarding things that they can have.”
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Read more articles by Sarah R. Adams-Slominski.

Sarah R. Adams-Slominski is an award-winning multimedia producer and writer with over 20 years of experience. She has also designed and taught multimedia and communication courses for university students, as well as media relations and marketing seminars for clients she coaches across the United States. In 2020, she began work on a doctorate and is now concentrating on dissertation research in educational technology and new literacies while working as a freelance writer, editor, and adjunct college instructor. When she has some downtime, Sarah loves reading, cooking, and swimming—as well as hanging out with friends, family, and her fiancé at home with two giant cats.