Phoenixville's Renaissance Academy's Dance Department continues their presentation of The Nutcracker today, Sat., Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the CAT Pickering Theater of 1580 Charlestown Road.

With over 140 Renaissance Academy students involved in the performance, the school continues for their third year with their rendition of the beloved holiday classic.

"Anyone who wants to participate may, even if they do not have any previous dance training," said the Renaissance Academy's Director of Dance Mehgan Jarvie. "It's a fair opportunity for our students and 95% of the cast has never taken a formal ballet or dance class."

The Renaissance Academy, a tuition-free public Charter School in Phoenixville provides students with a high-quality liberal arts' atmosphere, as well as an excellent college preparatory education. Over 18 local school districts assist students in attending the academy, embracing the alternative K-12 schooling in the area.

Jarvie, the Nutcracker's director, choreographer and costume maker, also revealed that the academy expected a turnout of 40 students, but were pleased when over 100 students possessed interest in participating.

The school's Nutcracker program, with practice twice a week for three months, and the performance in the fourth month, embraces every aspect of the traditional play, while still

offering their own flair to the show.

Beginning this year's performances last weekend at the King of Prussia mall, the cast reacted a few parts of the hour-and-forty-minute show in front of one of the show's sponsors' locations, Neiman Marcus. Other sponsors of the show include: Walt Disney World, Iron Hill Brewery, Picking Valley Golf Club, Molly Macguire's, Seven Stars Inn, and The Sweet and Sassy Salon.

The school's ensemble also engaged in their first full-length showing last evening at the theater of CAT Pickering, which continues tonight. A few members of the cast include: Alexis Dudley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Sarah Campli and Jackie Dippolito sharing the role of Clara, and Aria Dopwell and Jessica Dauphanais equally starring as Fritz.

In addition, the academy's full troupe will perform at the Sugar Plum Tea on Sun., Dec. 6 at 12:30 p.m. at the Spring Hollow Golf Club in Spring City, which includes a full lunch with the performance, with tickets $25.00 each.

Tickets remain available for this evening's performance, sold at the door, for $10.00 each. For more information on the Renaissance Academy, visit www.rak12.org.

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