Celebrating Over 30 Years ...

Garden City Ballet (GCB) is the home of Missoula's very own production of The Nutcracker. We proudly offer this holiday tradition and are lucky to work with outstanding performers and their families, as well as exceptional teachers, choreographers and guest artists from across the region and country. GCB does not operate its own dance studio. Instead, we invite all dancers, regardless of studio affiliation, to audition for what has become a treasured community event!


Buy Tickets for The Nutcracker


(Or at the top of this page, click on The Nutcracker, then Tickets for more information.)


K-PAX Interview



"The magic of The Nutcracker ballet draws huge crowds every year in Missoula. Every toe pointed, every sequin in place. The annual Nutcracker ballet is a stunning performance that involves about 110 dancers.

Behind the scenes, a lot of work and sweat goes into making sure these dancers are ready.

Artistic Director Michele Antonioli sees the big picture, and the finest of details, alongside nine other choreographers.   “....on what count did you point your foot, and did you point the right foot, and were you in the right formation."

This ballet is a lifelong dream for some of these dancers as they work their way up to solo roles. Audrey Petitt, 17, is this year’s Snow Queen soloist.   “I’ve been doing Nutcracker for 12 years..mouse, mouse mouse…”

She says her role is intimidating, but also rewarding. “This ethereal, magical figure, like kind of human, but also like, natural and like, beautiful in that kind of way,” she said of the Snow Queen.

“It is kind of intimidating cuz you’re like, I don’t know if I’m good enough for this, why did they choose me, this doesn’t make sense, but it is also really special, because like even now, talking to the little girls,” she said.

The show is produced by Garden City Ballet, a non-profit production company that combines dancers and instructors from studios across the city.

“Nutcracker is an expensive undertaking for a studio to do, ad it is time-consuming. But because of Garden City Ballet, with all of the costumes and sets that they have, they provide all of that infrastructure for us, so we can just send our students to be part of their Nutcracker. It is a brilliant organization,” Antonioli said.

Antonioli estimated that the costs of the show come up to tens of thousands of dollars. To rent the theater, lights, and production company for the weekend of performances, she said it costs well over $25,000. Each tutu? Roughly $2,000, she said.

The show usually breaks even, with enough to additionally support dancers with scholarship money to summer camps. This unique, city-wide collaboration is building up to that opening curtain, when these dancers get to finally show off the fruits of their hard work and dedication."(End)


Tickets are On Sale!

Go to The Nutcracker, Tickets for information. 




Raising Funds for the School Show

GCB has a proud tradition of funding a school performance (K - 8th grade) for Missoula and surrounding area children who might not otherwise have exposure to classical ballet and the performing arts. To offset the cost of this special Friday matinee show, we reach out to our community and raise funds each year. GCB is grateful to our donors who make holiday dreams come true! (For more information, please visit our Fundraising page.)


School Show - SOLD OUT

A big thanks to Missy Adams and Brandy Reinhardt for organizing this year’s matinee performance for out of town schools! There are 300 students (Lone Rock, Dixon, Potomac, Stevensville, Polson) on the wait list, which confirms this is a very popular event in our community. We are still raising funds to make this show 100% free! Want to help?

The school show audience this year will be:

  • Superior (80 from 3rd, 4th, 5th)
  • Trout Creek (60)
  • Florence (119 from 2nd and 3rd)
  • Clinton (50)
  • Seeley Lake (120)
  • Corvallis (99)
  • Lolo - Home School (7)


Thank You 2017 Donors!


(as of 11/20/17)


Choreographer’s Council  ($3000 - $4999)
Logjam Presents

Dancer’s Club  ($2000 - $2999)
Ballet Arts Academy (rehearsal studios* )
Southgate Mall

Principal  ($1000 - $1999)
Advanced Imaging
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel / Finn & Porter (lodging*)
Habitat Floral Studio (flowers*)

Northwest Plastic Surgery Associates, PLLC

NorthWestern Energy

Loreen L. and James S. Pettit

Poteet Construction

Rococo Formal & Bridal Wear (tuxedos*)

Max & Betty Swanson Foundation

Soloist  ($500 - $999)

Advanced Technology Group

Alpine Physical Therapy

Bellemah Vein Center

Caffe Dolce

Caras Property Management

Children’s Dentistry of the Rockies

Dennehy Orthodontics
Drum Coffee
First Security Bank
Julie Gardner Properties

Garlington, Lohn & Robinson

Good Food Store

Kenworthy Orthodontics

Knife River

Nancy and Ron Kurz

Mismo Gymnastics

Missoula Bone & Joint

On Center Performing Arts

PCI Electrical

Lee Pielaet & Lori Stevens

Red Phone Solutions

Republic Services, Inc.

Matt Rosbarsky, Clark Fork Realty

The Special K's

St. Patrick Hospital (trucks for moving sets*)

Sussex School

Sustainable Building Design - Lucas Dupuis

John West, Attorney at Law

Western Montana Clinic

Corps de Ballet  ($100 - $499)

Alter Enterprises, LLC

Best Western Plus (lodging*)

Boyle, Deveny & Meyer

Susan Curtis

First Interstate Bank

Garden City Funeral Home

Deborah & Tod Gass

Karen Gookin

Granite Peak Orthodontics

The Headley-Furrow Family

Bob King State Farm Agency

Les Schwab Tire Centers

Meng Dentistry

Missoula Dental Arts

Missoula Pediatric Dentistry

Montana Trout Outfitters

Morgenroth Music

The Priske Family

Rocky Mountain Surgical Solutions

Tess Rosbarsky

Kelly Sax Certified Public Accountant

Show Tyme Academy

Bonnie & Chris Smith

Twin Cranes Dental Group

Barre  (up to $99)

The Blahnik-Elliott Family
Jennifer L. Cavanaugh
The Dillon Family
Dream M. Fishell

The Gibbons Family

Kasey Harbine

Emma Harrison

Crystal Herzog

Jessica Murray

Charlotte Nelson

Olsen and Peters Dentistry

Cathy Richman

Rhea Smith

U-Haul (truck for moving sets*)

Stephanie Wallace

Juston West

(*in kind donation)


Nutcracker Photo Gallery

GCB has posted over 400 production photos from 2016, taken by professional photographer Neil Chaput de Saintonge. The gallery is password-protected. If you are part of the Nutcracker family (current or alumni), please contact (info@gardencityballet.org) for a link and password to the gallery. Digital, high-resolution downloads are available for purchase ($2.00 per photo). Past production years will be added as well, dating back to 2011.