Every year about his time the dancers of the Royal City Youth Ballet descend upon Maple Ridge to perform the Christmas classic, The Nutcracker. The Company currently holds the distinction of being the longest running seasonal ballet performance in Canada and for the past 24 years has attracted young dancers from various dance schools around the lower mainland.
This year seven of those dancers hail from the Maple Ridge/ Pitt Meadows area and have been casted in supporting roles. Ruby Garrett plays a soldier, Alexandra Ayley is a horse rider while Ashley Donnelly is big mouse, Trepack and a maid. All of the dancers have been members of the company for two years or longer.
The Royal City Youth Ballet Company is a unique non-profit society dedicated to engaging young people and the arts. The Company’s focus is on building self esteem, discipline and other life skills.
The children get to interact with professionals who act as their mentors and the end result is a very successful show which has with stood the test of time. But belonging to this prestigious arts company is not for the faint of heart. The dancers, who range from six years of age and up, enter ballet boot camp early in September. They rehearse long hours every weekend preparing for 21 shows which take place at seven theatres throughout the province.
• Royal City Youth Ballet’s The Nutcracker comes to the Maple Ridge ACT this Sunday, Nov. 25, with shows at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.theactmapleridge.org.