2020(ish) Nutcracker FAQ


*All dates and information subject to possible change*


General Information


Why are there 2 Nutcracker programs for the 2020/2021 school year?


In order to ensure social distancing in the rehearsal room, backstage and onstage we needed to significantly reduce the size of the Nutcracker cast.


May dancers ages 9+ participate in both the Traditional and the Storybook productions of the Nutcracker?


Dancers age 9 will not be able to participate in both productions.


Dancers ages 10+ will have the opportunity to perform in both productions.  The rehearsal schedules will be aligned so dancers ages 10 and up may participate in both productions.


Will my dancer be required to wear a face covering?


Traditional- Due to the nature of the traditional production, dancers will be required to wear face coverings. Face coverings worn during rehearsals and backstage will be provided by the dancer. Any face covering worn onstage will be provided by Ovations Studios. Dancers will be provided with 4-5 “costume” face coverings. They will be expected to wear a clean face covering for each performance/dress rehearsal. Dancers will be able to keep these face coverings as a souvenir of this crazy Covid-19 version of the Nutcracker.


If a role is aerobic or the dancer has difficulty breathing, we will work to create social distancing within the choreography so the dancer can perform without a mask.


Storybook- Social distancing will be strictly enforced during the Storybook Nutcracker production. However, face coverings will be required during rehearsals and backstage.


My dancer cannot medically wear a mask. Will accommodations be made for my dancer?


Yes. Please contact Melissa or Leslie with questions and concerns regarding this.


Is there a fully virtual option for either the Traditional or Storybook program?


Unfortunately, dancers will not be able to join the Nutcracker program as a fully virtual participant. Dancers will need time in the studio to appropriately learn spacing and traffic patterns. 

Does tuition include live action photos & videos?


This year’s tuition will include live action photos.


Portrait photography and Performance Videos will be offered for an additional fee.


Will in person ticketed seating and a live stream ticket be available for performances?


Yes. We plan to offer both an in-person ticket and a live stream ticket for all performances.

What happens if Nutcracker Rehearsals or Performances cannot be held?

If Nutcracker shows or rehearsals cannot be held as scheduled, we will work to rescheduled these for future dates; however, given the uncertainty resulting from the COVID health crisis, no assurances can be made that the shows and rehearsals will be able to continue in the format contemplated. In the event that the performances are unable to be held, Ovations will attempt to record various parts of the shows and edit these parts together to provide a recorded, digital version of the Nutcracker performances. Please note that if the Nutcracker shows and/or rehearsals must be cancelled and/or converted to digital options, there will be no refunds offered for Nutcracker participation fees or Ovations classes. However, if we are able to minimize or cancel some costs associated with one or both productions at the time of cancellation or conversion to a digital option, we will work to find ways to return a limited portion of the participation fee.


No refunds will be provided for any performer choosing to or becoming unable to participate for any reason.  

What Covid-19 precautions will Ovations Studios be taking?


Enhanced Cleaning

Hand sanitizer Stations and Regular Hand Washing for both Staff & Dancers

Daily Temperature checks & Health Questions for both Staff & Dancers

Only Staff & Dancers will be permitted inside Ovations Studios

No in store merchandise sales (please contact Jason@BethesdaDanceSupply.com for purchases)

Floor based 0.3 micron air filtration systems in each room

State of the Art Ionic Air Scrubbers installed in the HVAC system

Required use of Face coverings in most situations

Please see our Covid-19 Reopening Information for a more extensive list and detailed processes.




Storybook Nutcracker Production


How old must my dancer be to participate in the Storybook Nutcracker Production?


Dancers must be 5+ years of age prior to September 1, 2020.


How will the Storybook Nutcracker program work?


Dancers will sign up for a Storybook Nutcracker Class that meets every other week. Each class of 8 or less dancers will be assigned a scene or variation from the Nutcracker. Class scene/variation assignments will be based on the age and total number of dancers in a class. Classes will be kept together as a unit with little to no interaction with other Storybook Nutcracker classes. This separation will occur in the rehearsal setting, onstage and backstage. The dances will be performed with live narration by Drosselmeyer to create a cohesive ballet.


Does my dancer need to audition for the Storybook Nutcracker?


No audition is required to participate in the Storybook Nutcracker. Dancers may enroll in any section that is age appropriate.


Does my dancer need to take an additional ballet class of his/her level when participating in the Storybook Nutcracker?

Yes. All dancers participating in the Storybook Nutcracker program must enroll in at least 1 additional 45 minute- 1.5 hour ballet class of their level.


Will the Storybook Nutcracker Program have rehearsals outside of their assigned class time?


The dancers will have 1 technical/dress rehearsal at the theatre. There will not be any in studio full cast rehearsals.


What is the maximum number of dancers in each Storybook Nutcracker Class?


Storybook Nutcracker classes will not exceed 8 dancers.


What are the dates/times of the Storybook Nutcracker Classes?

Storybook Nutcracker Class Offerings

(Times are tentative and may be subject to change)

Ages 5-7 Friday Track A 5:00-7:45

Ages 5-7 Friday Track B 5:00-7:45


Ages 6-8 Friday Track A 5:00-7:45

Ages 6-8 Friday Track B 5:00-7:45


Ages 7-9 Friday Track A 5:00-7:45

Ages 7-9 Friday Track B 5:00-7:45


Ages 10+ Sunday Track A 12:00-12:45

Ages 10+ Sunday Track B 12:00-12:45

Storybook Nutcracker Class Dates

(All dates are tentative and may be subject to change)

*Dates below are a change from originally announced rehearsal dates.


Friday Track A Dates: 10/23, 11/6, 11/20, 12/11, 1/29, 2/12

Friday Track B Dates: 10/30, 11/13, 12/4, 1/2, 2/5, 2/19


Sunday Track A Dates: 10/18, 11/1, 11/15, 12/13, 1/24, 2/7

Sunday Track B Dates: 10/25, 11/8, 12/6, 1/10, 1/31, 2/14


How many performances will each dancer participate in?

There will be a total of 2 Storybook Nutcracker performances.


What are the technical rehearsal and performance dates?

Technical Rehearsal & Performances Saturday 2/20/2021

*This is a change from our originally announced dates.


Where will the Storybook Nutcracker be performed?


Performances will be at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville, MD.


Will there be more than 1 Storybook Nutcracker cast?


All participants of the Storybook Nutcracker program will be in the same cast.


Will the dancers keep their costumes?


No. We will be utilizing costumes not currently in use for this year's Traditional Nutcracker program as well as costumes from other past productions. These costumes are reused each year. Dancers will not share costumes with other performers. They will be sprayed with a disinfectant after each use.


My dancer is 9 or older. May they participate in the Storybook Nutcracker?


Yes, older dancers will be cast in many of the leading roles such as Sugar Plum Fairy, and The Nutcracker Prince. For some, this may be an opportunity to perform roles they may not be ready for in the Traditional production.


What happens if my dancer is sick and has to miss their Storybook Nutcracker Class?


We kindly ask that any dancer who has any signs of illness please stay home. Zoom will be available each week for any dancer who has any signs of illness. All new choreography will be recorded and available for viewing at any time after the class.


In addition, we ask that dancers with family members who show signs of Covid-19 symptoms please join rehearsal via Zoom.


What is the tuition for the Storybook Nutcracker class?


Tuition for the Storybook Nutcracker Class will be $585.


Please be aware this is the fee for Storybook Nutcracker participation only. This fee does not include the 1 additional required ballet class and is non-refundable.




Traditional Production


Why must my dancer be 9+ years of age before September 1, 2020 to participate in the Traditional program?


Due to the complex nature of the backstage operations in the current pandemic environment, dancers must be mature and responsible enough to independently follow health and safety protocols.


How will this year’s Traditional Production be different?


We will be performing at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville.


The Nutcracker will be performed in February.


This year’s cast will be older.  We are eliminating many of the roles that are usually filled by our younger dancers. While younger dancers are not eligible for this year’s Traditional production, we are offering a Storybook Nutcracker performance opportunity for dancers ages 5 and up.


There will be fewer dancers per cast.


Almost all roles will be double cast.


Casting patterns may be different. Roles may be assigned to different age groups or proficiency levels than in past years.


The total number of dancers per rehearsal room will be reduced. Dancers will be cast and rehearsal schedules aligned with contact reduction in mind. For example, Song/Christmas Tree Birds will also be Royal Pages/Servants, all of their choreography will be set by Jessie and in studio rehearsals for the roles will be scheduled back to back whenever possible.

Full Cast rehearsals will not occur this year.


Review rehearsals will be virtual.

A large attached social hall will be utilized in addition to the theatre’s designated dressing rooms to socially distance dancers within the backstage dressing room areas.


There will be 3-4 days between casts at the theatre. This will allow for us to fully clean and sanitize the space. Costumes will be cleaned between dancers.


All choreography and staging that usually occurs in the theatre house will be eliminated.


Choreography will be changed to reduce contact between dancers and the total number of dancers onstage at a time.


All props will be sterilized after each use.


Theatre seating will be socially distanced.


The audience will be required to wear masks.


We hope to offer a live stream ticket to the performances. Please note there will be ticket costs associated with any live or streamed performance options.

How will auditions for the Traditional Production work?


All dancers wishing to participate in the Traditional Nutcracker should fill out an audition form.


Audition videos are requested of dancers ages 11+ ONLY. Dancers ages 9-10 do not need to submit an audition video. Ages 9-10 only need to submit an audition form.


Dancers ages 11+ are to submit a 2-3 minute ballet focused video. Dancers en pointe do not need to submit videos containing pointe work.  Videos maybe of a Zoom class exercise, space appropriate variation or other ballet-based exercise. If dancers choose a barre exercise, we ask that they perform the exercise without the use of the barre.


Some dancers may be asked to attend an in person callback. All Ovations Studios safety and health precautions will be in place during callbacks. These include temperature checks, sanitation, social distancing, cloth face coverings, small groups, etc.


Audition submissions will continue to be accepted through October 1st.


 Audition videos may be sent to MelissaP@ovationsstudios.com.


What are the rehearsal dates?


Rehearsals will occur on Fridays early November 2020-early April 2021. Please be aware that dates may change as government regulations change during this pandemic.


Will there be in studio “full cast” or “all call” rehearsals?


No. To remain in line with government regulations, we will not be able to conduct the large “all call” rehearsals that generally occur as we get closer to working on the stage. The rehearsal schedule will be designed to ensure dancers will have a solid grasp on their scenes and the order in which they occur.


When will rehearsals with the male dancers occur?


We plan to bring in the male dancers to begin rehearsals Saturday February 6th. Dancers in roles that work closely with the male dancers will be scheduled for rehearsals on 1 or more of the following dates: March 31st-April 3rd.


What are the technical rehearsal and performance dates?


Technical rehearsals and performances will occur4/18-4/24.

What are the class requirements for participation in the Traditional Nutcracker Production?


1st Company

Dancers approved for pointe work

2-1.5 hour Ballet Technique Classes/week


2nd Company

Dancers not approved for pointe work

1.5 hours of Ballet Technique/week


If a dancer chooses to meet class requirements through virtual enrollment, the dancer is required to have their camera on during their Zoom class.

What is the tuition for the Traditional Production?


The tuition for all dancers participating in this year’s Traditional Nutcracker Production will be $1145.

Please be aware this is the fee for Traditional Nutcracker participation only. This fee does not include the additional required ballet classes. All Nutcracker and class tuition is non-refundable.


Why is Junior Company information not listed under pricing or class requirements?


We will be eliminating Jr company for this coming season. All dancers (including 9 & 10 year old dancers) will have choreography, rehearsal time & stage time equivalent to past year’s 1st & 2nd company.


What happens if my dancer is sick and has to miss their Nutcracker rehearsal?


We kindly ask that any dancer who has any signs of illness please stay home. Zoom will be available each week for any dancer who has any signs of illness. All new choreography will be recorded and available for viewing at any time after the rehearsal.


In addition, we ask that dancers with family members who show signs of Covid-19 symptoms please join rehearsal via Zoom.


Dancers will be responsible for any material missed due to an absence.

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