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 $200 non-refundable performance fee which helps cover costs associated with 12 weeks of rehearsal tuition, costumes and alterations, and performing in the Montana Theatre. The fee is not due until after casting is complete, and will be collected prior to the first rehearsal (unless a payment plan has been arranged).

(*In lieu of the required performance fee, adults dancing 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 Fundraiser
GCB organizes an optional fundraising program to help interested families and dancers offset the performance fee. Working with local businesses, GCB buys wholesale or discounted product (i.e. coffee, granola) that families resell at normal (or slightly higher than) retail prices. 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 Covid-19, all neighbors may appreciate “no contact” sales conducted via phone, carrier pigeon, email, social media, or mail.

Customer Order Form
Total Sales Form

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.

2020 General Schedule

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.
Link to “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.

Liability Waivers
Dancers must return these waivers prior to auditions.
2020 GCB Performance Liability Waiver
2020 COVID-19 Liability Waiver
Performance Agreement
Dancers (along with an adult parent or guardian, if dancer is under 18 years of age) must return this agreement prior to auditions. 2020 GCB Performance Agreement

Final Audition Checklist

2020 GCB Performance Liability Waiver — print, sign, bring
2020 GCB Performance Agreement — print, sign, bring
2020 GCB COVID-19 Liability Waiver — print, sign, bring
Headshot — bring photo (no larger than 3″x5″)
Audition — attend day and time according to exact age on audition day
Arrive (15) minutes early to check in