Ventura’s Footworks Youth Ballet Celebrates its 15th Year!

Join Footworks Youth Ballet for their Family Educational Hour

Ventura’s Footworks Youth Ballet presents its 15th anniversary performance of the Tchaikovsky classic, The Nutcracker. On December 8th and 9th, in two full-length performances, they will perform with the Footworks Community Orchestra and singers from the Carpe Diem Chorus at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center. Family-friendly matinees on both days begin at 2 p.m.

While Tchaikovsky’s score remains the same, the live orchestra adds dimension and individual flare as well as artistic director Kirsten Oakley’s little twists to the story that provide freshness and whimsy each year. This year marks the first time a student will take the role of the Nutcracker Prince. Jonah Thomas, a 12-year-old Ventura Charter School student, begins the evening as Clara’s nephew who eventually becomes the Nutcracker Prince. Regarding ballet and the role he is playing this year, Jonah comments, “I have been doing ballet for three years at the Oakley Ballet Center and I really enjoy it. The studio has really helped me grow as a dancer. The Nutcracker role is a really big step for me and I am excited to perform it.”

Nicola Hammond, a 7th grader at Anacapa Middle School, takes the role of Clara this season and is joined by her father Chad Hammond who is in the role of Mr. Stahlbaum, Clara’s father. It’s the first father/daughter duo to hit the stage in quite some time by the Footworks Youth Ballet dancers.

Founded by Kirsten Oakley, Footworks Youth Ballet was created with the goal of providing a place for young people to thrive and grow through the joy of dance as they learn the art and discipline of classical ballet. Technique classes are offered through the Oakley Ballet Center in Ventura, for children ages 5-18.

In keeping with the mission of Footworks, many student dancers perform in principal roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy or Snow Queen, giving young artists the opportunity to take on classical ballet repertoire at its best. As Oakley explains, “Even if a student leaves ballet after high school, they take with them a great appreciation for the classics, having explored the art form to its utmost and seen the results of their dedication and effort.”

For each ballet production, Footworks Youth Ballet hosts a sold-out performance for over 3,000 school-aged children to see the ballet. Most of the tickets for the children are provided at the reduced fee of $5.00 each, and many of the students qualify for free tickets.

Join Footworks Youth Ballet for their Family Educational Hour one hour prior to each show to learn about the production, costumes, ballet history and music.

The Nutcracker, presented by Footworks Youth Ballet.
Sat. Dec. 8th, 2:00 pm
Sun. Dec. 9th, 2:00 pm
Oxnard Performing Arts Center
Tickets $19, $24, $29
Call 486.2424 to buy tickets, or order online at

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