Woodford house


Dancing in The Nutcracker

Year 8 student Hannah Roberts has danced her way into one of the most well-known ballets.

At just 12 years old she has been selected to perform with the Imperial Russian Ballet Company in The Nutcracker.

Hannah’s dance school, Briar Horrocks Studio of Dance, was the only Hawke’s Bay studio selected to perform with the Russian Ballet.  She is one of 42 students.

The Nutcracker Ballet is based on the book The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. However, the Russian Ballet Company has created their interpretation of the story, which is set in an old German town. A mysterious toy maker visits a family over Christmas and brings toys for the two children Clara and Fritz. Clara is particularly taken by one toy, the Nutcracker, and the adventures she encounters with this toy blur the line of dream and reality.

Hannah will play the part of a “goofy” gnome who is the conductor of an orchestra.


“They show off and do lots of tricks,” Hannah says.

She says it is important to be passionate about ballet and understand the story behind the piece.

“You also need to feel the music, and you need to have correct technique. Fitness is important too because you need stamina to do constant pirouettes.”

Hannah has been coached by Briar Horrocks since she was 4 years old and is grateful to have such a good teacher. During the past six years, Hannah has gained distinction in all of her Grade 1-5 dance exams and proudly dons a gold badge on her school blazer.

Although dancing is hard work, she says ballet is where she has fun with friends and takes some time out from school work and the clarinet, which is her other passion.

The Nutcracker will be at the Municipal Theatre in Napier on Wednesday 16 November.

Tickets can be purchased through Ticketek.

Miss Chloe Johnson, Communications and Development Manager