It may be Thanksgiving week – but the dancers and supporters of the Christ Church Dance Ministry have had holidays on the brain since the summertime, when preparations began for the 20th annual Nutcracker ballet.
The event has swelled over the past two decades to become an entire season of celebration, fundraising and worship. Although supporters have already held several Nutcracker-related events, a highlight of the season came to fruition on Sunday at the annual Nutcracker Tea. Hosted this year at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, the tea is a ticketed celebration of the holiday season and introduces supporters to this year’s Nutcracker ballet cast. This year’s event was completely sold out and packed to capacity with dancers and supporters.
The event is orchestrated by many supporters, and centers on Miss Felicia’s Dance Team at Christ Church, led by the classically-trained Felicia Rhoden. The dance ministry is dedicated to teaching students to dance in a positive, inspiring environment that highlights the importance of giving to other children in need. Every year, the large cast of children, young adults and adults performs the Nutcracker at the Lazarra Theater at the University of North Florida. Profits from the show are donated to sponsor children in the Dreams Come True Foundation, as well as Pediatric Hospice and the Amistad Orphanage in Bolivia.
The next fundraiser event will be hosted on Dec. 1 at Painting with a Twist (268 Solana Rd. in Ponte Vedra) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Use passcode “NUTCRACKER” to RSVP at www.paintingwithatwist.com/ponte-vedra-beach.
More than 750 tickets have already been sold to the Nutcracker performance, which will be at UNF’s Lazarra Theater, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. Visit www.missfeliciasdance.com to purchase tickets.