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A Nutcracker prince returns

Another nutcracker prince is returning to Kelowna to dance in Mission Dance Centre's The Nutcracker.

One of the greatest rewards for artistic director Tanya Bakala is when a student who was home-grown at MDC goes out into the professional dance world and returns to share their talent with the next generation of new hopefuls.

This winter season, David Denton Protsack is that returning student. He's grown into a handsome young man, and will dance the role of the prince in The Nutcracker, along with the dance students of the pre-professional program.

Mission Dance has been blessed in the past years, as students like Protsack come back to partner with the young, up-and-coming ballerinas.

What a treat and wonderful experience for these teen female dancers, who have the opportunity to be partnered with a professional.

Not many teen girls have such a special chance to step into the role of Clara or the Sugarplum Fairy, and to be partnered with
professionals. But here at MDC we strive to make this dream a reality.

This year the role of Clara will be danced by Taria Soames (during the matinee) and Anna Baerg (during the eveing and school shows).

The role of the Sugarplum Fairy will be danced by Annette Bakala for the matinee, evening, and public school performances.

One of the mandates of the centre's ambitious artistic director is for Mission Dance to service the community of Kelowna by making the training and performances accessible to all who love dance.

Proceeds from the silent auction at this year's Nutcracker performances will go to the Mission Dance Centre's scholarship fund.

Protsack was a winning recipient of such a scholarship when he was training at MDC, before he went to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Bakala strives to make dance affordable whether you are a dance hopeful or an audience member.

All of the passion Bakala has for dance was ignited years ago when, believe it or not, she met the great Rudolph Nureyev backstage in Toronto, when he was performing with the National Ballet (now there was a prince in the flesh).

She saw his greatness and electrifying presence during the brief backstage meeting and has been mesmerized all her life ever since.

Holding on to that little girl's mesmerized moment, and never forgetting that one single person can emit so much beautiful and powerful energy, Bakala holds the belief that each of us has this capacity within us when we're living our passion.

Now, as a mentor to ballet students, the poised artistic director wishes for each student to experience themselves in all their grandeur of who they are, on and off stage.

It is important that each performer experiences themselves just as Rudolph Nureyev had the passion and conviction to experience himself. Each person has the capacity to make their own dreams to come true.

Upcoming Nutcracker performances are:
-Dec. 1, 12 p.m. at the public school;
-Dec. 2, 2 p.m. matinee;
-Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m. evening.

For more information on the performance, or to purchase tickets, call 250-764- 2222, or visit Mission Dance Centre online.

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