2021 Auditions:  September 10, 11, 12
Location:  Ballet Arts Academy and/or University of Montana (TBD)
Deadline to register online:  August 27
(exact audition times, location, and groups TBA – see below to register)

Stay informed by reading the e-news! (see important message from the directors sent 6/22)

GCB strives to be inclusive — all dancers, regardless of local studio affiliation, are invited to audition (it’s free!).

In order to understand as fully as possible what it means to be part of our Nutcracker, please read all information prior to auditioning. This is especially important for new families, but also recommended for returning families (since policies, fees, and rules may have changed). The FAQ page is also informative — please look through these common questions as well.

Performance Fee
Every cast member* is required to pay a non-refundable performance fee which helps cover costs associated with 12 weekends of rehearsals, costumes and alterations, and performing (6) shows in the Montana Theatre.

Payment Due: The fee is not due until after casting is complete; it will be collected prior to the first rehearsal. When the time comes in September, you may pay by check or online in the GCB Store. The reason we do not collect any payment upfront is that while we hope to cast every dancer in the ballet, a time may come when this is not possible and dancers who audition may not receive a part.

New for 2021: The performance fee will be raised (for the first time since 2016) from $200 to $300 to help GCB recover from the Covid shutdown, and due to rising costs associated with the production.

(*In lieu of the required performance fee, all adult dancers in the Party Scene are asked to make a financial donation that is personally meaningful. Invited performers, professional actors, and guest artists are exempt.)

Performance Fee Fundraisers
GCB organizes optional fundraising programs to help interested families and dancers offset the performance fee cost.

Option 1)  Working with local businesses, GCB buys wholesale or discounted product (i.e. coffee, granola) that families resell at retail prices (or slightly higher). The profit from sales offsets part (or all) of your performance fee. Some of our more enthusiastic families volunteer to sell items and donate all proceeds back to GCB — amazing! Note: GCB does not advise unaccompanied dancers selling door-to-door. Due to the continued risk of Covid-19, all buyers may appreciate “no contact” sales conducted via phone, carrier pigeon, email, social media, or mail.

Instructions (TBA)
Customer Order Form (TBA)
Total Sales Form (TBA)

New for 2021 — Option 2)  If you secure one brand new donor at the $500 level (or higher), 50% of your performance fee will be reimbursed. If you secure two brand new donors, each at the $500 level (or higher), 100% of your performance fee will be reimbursed.

ALERT: Please do not solicit any potential donor before checking first with GCB. We want to make sure the person or business you have in mind is not a current donor, or a donor on our “do not contact” list. See Donate for more information and materials.

Rehearsals typically begin the weekend following auditions, and are held at Ballet Arts Academy (unless otherwise noted) on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and/or Sundays (September through December — including UM Homecoming weekend, MEA/MDAA weekend, and on Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend).

Prior to casting, we develop a general schedule (see below) that may be helpful for auditioning and planning purposes. If you have a standing weekly conflict with a particular rehearsal day or time, please let us know prior to auditions. The Casting Committee is not able to guarantee an appropriate role for all dancers that have other personal weekly commitments, but will be mindful when assigning roles that would conflict.

For example, if the appropriate role for your dancer is Soldier, but your dancer is not able to attend scheduled rehearsals for Soldiers, it is possible that your dancer would not receive any role that year.

Please know that every effort is made to keep rehearsal times consistent during the season, but for many reasons, this is not always possible. Within the general time frame set aside for each variation, exact times and specific dancers called to rehearse may vary week to week. See Schedule for more details.

2021 General Schedule (TBA)

Attendance Policy
A production of this kind requires excellent attendance from every cast member. Please give careful consideration before auditioning and committing your family to this three-month long season.

  • Attendance will be taken.
  • Absences (except for sudden illness or emergency) must be communicated at least one full week in advance to the Artistic Director, Administrative Director, and choreographer. Your absence may indicate cancelling a rehearsal for all dancers in the variation.
  • At the discretion of the Artistic Director, any dancer may be replaced for missing (2) or more rehearsals during the production season — this includes pre-arranged absences and sudden illness or emergency.
  • Please clear all school-related conflicts (band, choir, play, orchestra, holiday party, etc.) in September. Your teachers will appreciate early notice — don’t wait until the last minute to address known conflicts that will occur in December. (See School Absence Form.)
  • Rehearsals are typically scheduled on UM Homecoming weekend — dancers are not excused to participate in or watch the parade.
  • Rehearsals are typically scheduled on Sunday afternoon of Thanksgiving weekend. These rehearsals are especially critical if the following weekend is the final run-through and beginning of tech week.
  • All rehearsals on and after Thanksgiving weekend (this includes the final run through at the studio) and all rehearsals during tech week in December are required for the entire cast.
  • All Nutcracker performances are required for the entire cast.
Behavior Policy
Generally speaking, we have very few issues with conduct. If, however, an attitude or behavior does not meet GCB’s expectations, this protocol will be followed:
1st instance – The adult immediately involved will speak directly to the dancer and the Artistic Director will be notified.
2nd instance – The Artistic Director will speak to the dancer and a parent will be notified.
3rd instance – If the dancer is not dismissed (from all remaining rehearsals and performances), a parent will be required to chaperone and supervise the dancer for the remainder of the season.
Wellness Policy
GCB has a zero tolerance policy for illegal use or possession of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and vaping products. The consequence of breaking this policy may include up to a one-year suspension from Garden City Ballet.
Volunteer Requirement
We joke around that parents are forced to volunteer — but, it’s true! Volunteering is required of every family, because otherwise GCB could not afford to produce The Nutcracker. At a minimum, each family needs to sign up for (3) volunteer shifts. See Parent Sign Up for details.
Tech Week
To get a sense of the final week of rehearsals in the Montana Theatre (aka tech week), please review the example schedule provided. Tech week is a crucial part of The Nutcracker commitment, and we need all families to be prepared for this exciting and demanding week. After digesting this information, please consider whether the Nutcracker season feels manageable.
2019 Tech Week and Performances
Audition Tips
There is no question this article contains helpful advice — and, we encourage parents and dancers to review it every year — Audition Basics and Pointers for Keeping a Positive Perspective by Nichelle Suzanne (Founder/Editor at Dance Advantage)

Hot tip!
GCB offers a late August workshop (Summer Boot Camp) to help dancers prepare for auditions — these classes are especially helpful for those who have not danced consistently over the summer.

What to Wear
  • Dress for a ballet class.
  • No make-up required.
  • Extra clothing layers, dance skirts, leg warmers, etc. should not be worn.
  • Ladies: Solid color leotard. Pink tights that cover the entire foot. Pink ballet slippers. Bring pointe shoes (if applicable). Hair in neat ballet bun.
  • Gentlemen: White (or solid color) dance shirt or t-shirt. Black tights. Black or white ballet slippers. Hair off face.
Ballet Head Shot
Example Head Shot

Please bring a photo to your audition. It may be in color or b/w, and should be no larger than 3×5″ in size. Ladies should style hair in a neat ballet bun. Gentlemen should have hair out of eyes and off of face. There is no need to hire a professional photographer, though of course you are welcome to do so! Dancers who take part in Summer Boot Camp receive a complimentary head shot. Make-up is not required for the photo or auditions. Your photo will be submitted to the casting committee, and will not be returned.

Performance and Covid Waivers
Please download, print, sign, and bring these waivers to the audition.
Performance Waivers
COVID-19 Waiver
Performance Agreement
Please download, print, sign, and bring this agreement to the audition.
Performance Agreement
GCB has a new audition requirement for all returning Nutcracker dancers — if this is your first audition, this requirement does not apply. Let us know if you have any questions!
Dancer Thank You

Final Audition Checklist

Register Online
Attend audition day and time according to exact current age
Arrive (15) minutes early to check in
Bring Ballet Head Shot (no larger than 3×5″)
Bring Performance Waivers
Bring COVID-19 Waiver
Bring Performance Agreement
Bring Dancer Thank You