Art & Culture

San Benito Dance Academy to perform in Salinas

Local dancers get ready for two shows at Sherwood Hall in Salinas this weekend
LI2_9660 Stephanie.jpg
LI2_9682 Robinson.jpg
LI2_9737 (1) Robinson.jpg
LI2_9784 Robinson.jpg

Dressed in their finery, youth from San Benito County are feverishly practicing for their public performances of the Nutcracker this coming weekend.  BenitoLink photographer Lisa Robinson-Ward joined dancers as the San Benito Dance Academy prepared with a dress rehearsal.

Here is a sneak preview of some of the professional quality costumes dancers will wear at their upcoming performance in Salinas. Pointe and advanced ballet instructor, Stephanie Hicks wrote in a recent email, "San Benito Dance Academy exposes local youth and teens to a world of artistry and classical excellence."  

The dance academy is the largest dance studio in San Benito County, offering a full range of classical ballet training from beginning to advance pointe level ballet.  In addition to classical ballet, SBDA offers lyrical, modern, tap and jazz.  

Each year, SBDA rings in the holiday season by presenting the seasonal favorite, Nutcracker Ballet. More than 160 dancers, primarily from San Benito County will take the stage for this magical performance. The Nutcracker will also feature advanced dancers from The San Benito Dance Academy.

The Nutcracker was adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" and premiered in 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia on a double-bill with Tchaikovsky's opera, Iolanta. According to an article on Wikipedia, "Although the original production was not a success, the 20-minute suite that Tchaikovsky extracted from the ballet was. However, the complete Nutcracker has enjoyed enormous popularity since the late 1960s and is now performed by countless ballet companies, primarily during the Christmas season, especially in North America." 

Hicks explained that the San Benito Dance Academy has been operating for about 10 years and in that time, some very talented dancers have come along.

"The academy is really a gift to the community because young dancers finally have a place to achieve an advanced level in dance without having to go out of the county," she said.  

San Benito Dance Academy will be performing the Nutcracker on Dec. 19 and 20, with shows at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Sherwood Hall in Salinas. Ticket information: 831-801-8200.






Leslie David

Leslie David is a Bay Area independent reporter/producer and is a BenitoLink founding board member. She has produced for radio, television, newspaper and magazines in both California and Wyoming. She was with KRON-TV News in San Francisco as camera-woman, editor and field producer, where she won the Commonwealth Club's Thomas Storke Award with Linda Yee for their series on the Aids Epidemic. She started as a small market news reporter shooting her own 16mm film at KEYT-TV Santa Barbara. Leslie lives on a ranch with her family in San Benito County.