Dec. 22-23: Saint Augustine Ballet stages The 10th Annual Nutcracker Ballet

Holiday show set for December 22-23 in Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College

Saint Augustine Ballet Artistic Director Luis Abella is excited to present the 10th Annual Nutcracker to the community. This holiday favorite will be staged on Saturday, December 22 and Sunday, December 23— at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. both days — in Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St., downtown St. Augustine. Tickets are $25 to $30 with discounts for ages 65 and older, and 12 and younger. Tickets are available at or by calling 855-222-2849.  

The Nutcracker is a magical holiday show that features mischievous mice, dancing dolls, sparkling snowflakes, custom-designed scenery and costumes, and skillful athletic dancing.

“The Nutcracker puts everyone in the mood for the holidays, and this is a family ballet that everyone can identify with,” said Abella, a professionally trained dancer from Cuba who toured professionally before moving to St. Augustine when he created Saint Augustine Ballet.

“We change up the storyline to make it more audience friendly,” Abella explains. “Even if guests don’t know about ballet, they will still understand the timeless story.”

In addition to the local and professional dancers in the show, St. Augustine celebrities also perform. This year’s community dancers include Tommy Bledsoe (10th year) and Joy D’Elia as Clara’s parents. Party Parents are Katherine and Dr. Todd Batenhorst, Jane and Joe Boles (also both in their 10th year), Dr. Bill and Susan Foody, Beth and Tracy Upchurch, and Georgia Garrett. William Masson will be Mother Ginger. 

Julio Conception is a guest artist who will perform as the Cavalier. Born and raised in Matanzas, Cuba, his professional training includes The Vocational Arts School in Matanzas, Cuba and the National Ballet School in Cuba. He joined the National Ballet of Cuba in 2008. He danced with the Cincinnati Ballet in 2013. He joined the Oklahoma City Ballet in 2015, and has performed in many dance shows including Sleeping Beauty, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Giselle. He has been a guest artists in The Great Gatsby with Ballet Palm Beach, and has danced in the Miami International Dance Festival. 
Sugar Plum will be danced by Grace Karger, a Saint Augustine Ballet student and a member of the newly formed Jr. Company. This is Grace’s eighth Nutcracker performance with the Saint Augustine Ballet. She is the second student to dance the role of Sugar Plum in all 10 years.
“In 10 years we finally have reached the pre-professional level, forming the Jr. Company. We have six student dancers in Jr. Company,” Abella said.
Clara will be danced by Jolynne Waldner, a freshman at Flagler Palm Coast High School. The Nutcracker/Prince role is danced by Jake Karger. 
We will also be joined by 3 pre-professional male dancers from the Orlando Molina Ballet Training Center in Duluth, Ga, Joseph Dlearo, Joshua Nunamaker, and Collin MoserOrlando Molina will also be returning as Drosselmeyer. 
In addition to the three party parents noted above, Luis Abella, Kiera Pheffer and Kali Lee have danced in all 10 Nutcracker performances. Kiera (2017) and Kali (2018) have both graduated but are returning for the 10th anniversary.   

View the student cast list below. For more details, go to

10th Annual Local Cast

ACT 1 

Party Scene

Clara- Jolynne Waldner

Fritz- Anthony Romero 

Clara’s Friends- Arianna Fleischman, Harlow Hatin, Paris Lugo, Eléa Woodward

Cats- Jocelyn Herstone, Anabelle Hucke, Meadow Kuc

Maids- Katherine DeAcutis, Kiera Pheffer

Party Girls- Jenny Albanesi, Josephine Anselmo, Lexi Brockway, Julia Douglas, Kismet Field, Claudia Mueckay

Party Boys- Giovana Andrioti, Taylor Cardona, Abby Chapman, Catalina Davis, Austin Fields, Rayna Glad 

Little Sisters- Emma Maroney, Adelaide Pacetti, Emma Sweeney

Drosselmeyer’s Nephew– Jax Czerniak

Columbine Doll- Natalee Hardy

Porcelain Doll- Kali Lee

Mechanical Doll- Jake Karger

Battle Scene

Nutcracker/Prince- Jake Karger

Mice- Ariel Brownell, Genesis Costellon, Kalia Chaconas, Olivia Cope, Jaida Fiorenze-Kuc, Lilian Gzajkowski, Maura Hamilton, Joanna Herstone, Nature Kuc, Anastasia McClarnon, Eliana Pacetti, 

Michal Pizanti, Kinslee Turley, Mesa Unsworth, Miriam Wallace, Adèle Woodward

Soldiers- Giovana Andrioti, Lexi Brockway, Taylor Cardona, Abby Chapman, Jax Czerniak, Catalina Davis,  Austin Fields, Anthony Romero 

Snow Scene

Snow Queen– Devin Mantei

Snow Corps A– Arianna Fleischman, Paris Lugo, Ella Wimpelberg, Harlow Hatin/Eléa Woodward

Snow Corps B- Kismet Field, Rayna Glad, Natalee Hardy, Naomi Lewis, Ayla Lugo, Ofir Pizanti, Zana Schiano, Tess Woodward

Snow Flakes- Madison Deprey, Lucy Murr, Chloe Straw 

ACT 2 

Angels- Marley Byrne, Kalia Chaconas, Joanna Herstone, Maddie Hartline, Elizabeth Muscetta, Anastasia McClarnon, Eliana Pacetti, Ava Smith, Mesa Unsworth, Mariam Wallace, Adèle Woodward

Spanish Lead- Jenny Albanesi 

Spanish Corps- Lexi Brockway, Naomi Lewis, Claudia Mueckay, Zana Schaino

Chinese Lead- Tess Woddward

Chinese Corps- Ariel Brownell, Olivia Cope, Madison Deprey, Jaida Fiorenze-Kuc, Lucy Murr, Michal Pizanti 

Arabian Lead- Ella Wimpelberg

Arabian Corps- Maura Hamilton, Emma Maroney, Adelaide Pacetti, Chloe Straw, Emma Sweeney

Russian- Abby Chapman, Catalina Davis, Madison Deprey, Rayna Glad, Ayla Lugo, Ofir Pizanti

Mirliton Lead- Arianna Fleischman

Mirliton Corps- Josephine Anzelmo, Julia Douglas, Kismet Field, Paris Lugo

Mother Ginger- Giovana Andrioti, Austin Fields, Natalee Hardy, Joanna Herstone, Jocelyn Herstone, Annabelle Hucke, Meadow Kuc, Nature Kuc, Eliana Pacetti, Adèle Woodward

Dew Drop- Harlow Hatin/Eléa Woodward

Flower- Kali Lee, Devin Mantei, Ella Wimpelberg, Harlow Hatin/Eléa Woodward

Sugar Plum- Grace Karger 

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