Young ballet students audition for Pacific Northwest Ballet's "Nutcracker"

SEATTLE  -   Some nervous, but lovely young ballet dancers took the stage today at the Seattle Center.

About 140 students from the Pacific Northwest Ballet School auditioned for roles in this year’s production of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” at McCaw Hall.  The adorable nine- and ten-year-old dancers, adorned in blue and purple leotards and white tights, lined up, waiting their turn to “saute” (jump) or “plie” (bend) as they pranced across the stage at Phelps Center, above the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.

The students were vying for spots as mice, angels, candy canes and party boys and girls.  Major roles are up for grabs too, such as the characters of Clara, Fritz and the Nutcracker Prince.

Caroline Schubring's a nine-year-old dancer who is still learning many ballet steps, combinations and patterns.  She felt pretty satisfied with her performance, despite the pain of wearing ballet shoes that were a bit too small.

"I think I did ok,” she said.  “I think I could use a little bit of improvement."

Caroline says she would have done better, if her toes weren't being pinched so much.  She was wearing the shoes she used last year.

“Tiny and hurting my big toes,” she said.  “I think I kind of outgrew them.”

But overall, she says most of the ballet students were eager and excited to be a part of the audition for the PNB production.

“Everything went smoothly.  I think everybody did great,”  she said.  “Some people could use a little improvement.  I’m really happy to be here.”

On Thursday, the kids will find out if they were selected for the big show.  Rehearsals begin October 1st.  Then the real stress begins for the dancers, their parents and their families, as they keep up with school, homework and rehearsal schedules.

There will be 38 performance of “The Nutcracker” at McCaw Hall this year, from November 25th to December 28th.