NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet has partnered with two incredible legacy partners, Renee Antoinette’s School of Dance and Heather Stolle’s School of Dance, for the past two decades. These partnerships have not only enriched the local arts and culture scene but have also left a lasting impact on the lives of young dancers and their families. In celebration of this remarkable milestone, we interviewed the studio owners, Renee Baca Chavez and Heather Stolle, to reflect on their journey with NUTCRACKER! and their enduring bond.
Renee Antoinette’s School Of Dance: A Journey of Excellence
Renee Antoinette’s School of Dance has been a beacon of excellence in New Mexico, and their partnership with NUTCRACKER! has added a touch of magic to the state’s performing arts scene.
Memories and Milestones: Renee Antoinette recalls the day she was first contacted by NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet, an invitation that left her both surprised and honored. For two decades, she has strived to enhance the performance year after year, bringing professionalism and a world-class experience to her students. “This year I have a student who joined us and received the role of Snowflake, her mother received a role in my first cast 20 years ago. To see how this has truly made an impact in the lives of these girls brings me great joy!”
Growth Through Inspiration: Participating in NUTCRACKER! has given students a tangible understanding of ballet as an art form, instilling respect and appreciation for the discipline. It transforms the weekly routine of ballet training into a meaningful journey.
Heather Stolle’s School of Dance: Nurturing Young Talent
Heather Stolle’s School of Dance has nurtured young talent, with NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet as an integral part of their journey.
Unforgettable Moments: Heather Stolle reminisces about the moment when her daughter, Summer, was encouraged to join the production despite her initial reservations.
” I was not planning on her being in the production, but sweet Nina was visiting with my daughter about the production. Summer told her, “my mommy said I’m too small” and Nina told her you are a perfect size and if it’s ok with your Mommy I have a role for you.” Summer Stolle grew up at our studio and took years of additional ballet at Ballet Conservatory of South Texas, attended years of conventions, and performed in the Nutcracker from 5-18 years old. She graduated with a degree in Commercial Dance from Pace University in NYC and is now dancing professionally and lives in NYC. “
Building Bonds: The enduring partnership with NUTCRACKER! is built on shared values and understanding. The company listens to the needs of each studio, ensuring a collaborative and successful production. For young dancers, being a part of NUTCRACKER! is transformative. It introduces them to the magic of ballet, fostering respect and love for the art form.
Fostering Community: The production goes beyond the stage, creating a subculture of studio families who support each other, sharing meals and creating lasting friendships. The partnership has contributed to the growth and evolution of Heather’s dance school by giving students a real-life ballet experience, connecting their weekly lessons to a larger purpose.
As they celebrate this milestone, both studio owners express their gratitude for the trust and confidence placed in them by NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet. Looking ahead, they envision expanding their impact and spreading the love of NUTCRACKER! even further.
The two-decade-long collaboration between NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet, Renee Antoinette’s School of Dance, and Heather Stolle’s School of Dance stands as a shining example of the unwavering strength of teamwork within the enchanting world of ballet. As they set sail into the next phase of their partnership, their mission remains steadfast: to ignite the passion of budding dancers and captivate audiences of all ages, preserving the timeless enchantment of NUTCRACKER! for countless generations to cherish.