TJC dancers return to Wise Auditorium stage for 33rd annual ‘Nutcracker’ ballet Dec. 3-5 | TJC

TJC dancers return to Wise Auditorium stage for 33rd annual ‘Nutcracker’ ballet Dec. 3-5

For its 33rd annual holiday presentation of “The Nutcracker” ballet, the Tyler Junior College Academy of Dance is coming home to Wise Auditorium — and bringing along the East Texas Symphony Orchestra.

“Nutcracker season is always an exciting time, but it’s even more so this year because this will be our first year to perform in the beautiful new Rogers Palmer Performing Arts Center,” TJC Academy of Dance Director Carolyn Hanna said.
“For our homecoming return, we are thrilled to have our favorite orchestra — the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Richard Lee — playing live for every performance.”
Show times are:

• 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3
• 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4
• 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5
For tickets, go to

Thereza Bryce-Cotes, TJC Academy of Dance ballet mistress​, added, “This will be one of our best performances yet. With the help of our esteemed Pre-Professional Program, dancers from East Texas, our beautiful guest artists, and the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, this is a Christmas tradition you won’t want to miss.”
Guest artists
Guest artists Nayara Lopes and Arian Molina Soca will perform the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.
They are both members of the Philadelphia Ballet, where Lopes is a first soloist and Molina Soca is a principal dancer.

Nayara Lopes

Nayara Lopes

Lopes began dancing at age six. She trained at the School of Theatre Dance Guaira in Brazil and later at the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in New York.
She joined Philadelphia Ballet during its 2016-17 season as a member of the corps de ballet, was promoted to soloist for the 2018-19 season, and was then promoted to first soloist for 2019-20. She has performed principal roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy in George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” and the title role in Ben Stevenson’s “Cinderella.”

Prior to Philadelphia Ballet, Lopes danced with Orlando Ballet II, which she joined in 2010; the National Ballet of Canada, which she joined as an apprentice in 2011; and the Dance Theatre of Harlem, which she joined in 2015.

Molina Soca

Arian Molina Soca

Arian Molina Soca began his ballet studies in 2001 at the Alfonso Pérez Isaac Vocational School of Art in his native Cuba, and then joined the National Ballet School in Havana in 2006.
He joined Philadelphia Ballet as a principal dancer for the 2015-16 season, performing a range of works from the contemporary to the classic. He has danced principal and featured roles that include Ben Stevenson’s “Cinderella” (as the Prince), Nacho Duato’s “Remansos,” Christopher Wheeldon’s “DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse,” Angel Corella’s “Le Corsaire” (as Conrad), and George Balanchine’s “Western Symphony” (Fourth Movement).
Prior to Philadelphia Ballet, Molina Soca danced with the Cuban National Ballet, which he joined in 2010. He was promoted to first soloist in 2011 and principal dancer in 2012. While with the company, he performed internationally in North and South America, Europe, China and South Africa.
Local cast members
This year’s roster of local performers: Joanna Alders, Madeline Alders, Betsy Ashwood, Ellis Ann Ashwood, Caroline Bailey, Elena Baldwin, Karista Baldwin, Katy Beach, Merry Margaret Beach, Tommy Beach, Kathryn Beard, Madison Bowser, Camilla Bravo, Cambrie Brooks, Jenna Broyles, Cailyn Bryce-Cotes, Molly Cannon, Reagan Cannon, Jessica Carmona, Bailey Carpenter, Piper Chapman, Ginger Christiansen, Madeline Chilek, Makynzie Cliborn, Kate Cockrell, Kali Cole, Lorayle Cole, Mackenzie Copfer, D’AviannaCrockett-Bickham, Winter Cummins, Karsyn Cunningham, Jace Curtis, Ruby Curtis, Jacob Davis, Lauri Davis, Qwynnen Davis, Rowynn Davis, Wynnslo Davis, Vivian Deere, Everly Dobbins, Caleigh Duquette, Jaclyn Duty, Vivienne Elliot, Mae Mae Ewing, Jazzy Farrish, Cheyenne Fink, Samuel Fink, Claire Foreman, Lucy Foreman, Sarah Fisher, Cai Franks, Stella Franks, Kylie Gandy, Lisa Genovese, Tesla Hartweg, Hannah Hughes, Lina Ismael, Najah Jackson, Felicia Jarrett, Allison Jarvis, Steve Jones, Liberty Koerbel, Annabel Langford, Audrey Lassasnke, Caroline Lesniewski, Kaylee Lesniewski, Ava Lissner, Zoe Lissner, Jonathan Apoderado-Llave, Jazleny Lopez, Lucy Anne Mackintosh, Kate Margraves, Mary-Meadows Marshall, Vivienne Marshall, Nalani Mata, Brooks Mazzare, Ann Marie Mayfield, Madelyn McClellan, Elizabeth McCord, Cheyenne McCracken, Darren McCracken, Nicole Mitchell, Emma Morris, Kodi Morris, Delia Nava, Madison Nehls, Cara Olney, Paola Ortega, Carlos Ortiz, Mariana Ortiz-Oliveras, Addison Petty,Allie Phillips, Jason Phillips, Laney Phillips, Ainsley Pierce, Zion Perez, Victoria Pool, Stella Ramirez, Ainsley Rhodus, Julissa Rivera, Xitlally Rivera, Lyla Roycroft, McKinley Ryal, Reagan Ryal,Pippa Roberts, Hannah Robinette, Emily Rodriquez, Lyla Roycroft, Ryleigh Roxburgh, Audrey Scarborough, Emma Scott, Ellie Smith, Tenley Smiley, Leah Soto, Charlotte Stuebing, Isabelle Stuebing, Henley Sturrock, Joslyn Swinney, Carmen Taylor, Brooklyn Thomas, Madison Thompson, Rose Tucker, Charlotte Turman, Elisabeth Vahovius, Rowan VanNote, Wilford VanNote, Ava Wamboldt, Adarius Washington, Julia Watkins, Kayla Whitaker, Maggie Whitehead, Brynn Wilder, Taylor Williams, Isabella Williamson, Mary Caroline Willis, Patrick Willis, Lily York, Clara Zwiebel and Dirk Zwiebel.

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