A Head Start On The Holidays

With each year it seems department stores kick off the shopping season earlier and earlier. It’s Halloween weekend and Thanksgiving’s a month away! And now you’re thinking, “Oh no, not Dance Advantage too!”

BUT, with so much going on around the holidays – informal parent observations, formal performances, not to mention all your shopping, cooking, traveling, and other family obligations – it is important to think ahead.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to think too hard! With the choreography, music, and class ideas below I hope to lighten your load a little so that you can focus on more important things this time of year.

IMAGE A garland of holly IMAGE

Ready-made Holiday Choreography

Downloadable holiday routines are available at DancesToGo.com. Three of them are my choreography:

A Little Angel – Parents will appreciate this silly holiday number for young children, age 3-5. It does feature Santa and mentions prayer in the lyrics, but is mostly about all of the naughty stuff little ones TRY to resist in anticipation of Christmas. It’s fantastically fun with plenty of repetition.

The Little Christmas Tree – This touching and elegant number for 5-8 year-olds could be used for holiday celebrations or informal performances. It works best for [Read more…]

Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, With A Twist

You may think you’ve heard every version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite available. The holiday classic has been covered many times. You won’t find any dog barking in this collection but I’m sure you’ll find something new to add a bit of sugarplum, spice, or humor to your classes this holiday season.

Miyako Yoshida and Steven McRae as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her prince in the Royal Ballet production of the Nutcracker on Wednesday 2 December 2009.

Royal Ballet dancers Miyako Yoshida and Steven McRae

Electronic and Remix

The Nutcracker Suite (Baz Kuts Breaks Mix): Christmas Remixed – Holiday Classics Re-Grooved

The Nutcracker Suite (Baz Kuts Breaks Mix) - Christmas Remixed - Holiday Classics Re-Grooved

The Nutcracker Suite (Operatica’s Nutcrackeratica Mix): Holiday Chill – The Christmas Remixes

The Nutcracker Suite (Operatica's Nutcrackeratica Mix) - Holiday Chill - The Christmas Remixes

Sugarplum: Bond – Explosive – The Best of Bond

Sugarplum - Explosive - The Best of Bond (Bonus Track)

Sugar Plum (short and long version): The Nutcracker

Sugar Plum - EP - The Nutcracker

A Little Jazzy

Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies: Harry Connick Jr. – What a Night! A Christamas Album

Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies - What a Night! - A Christmas Album

The Nutcracker Suite: Brian Setzer – Boogie Woogie Christmas

The Nutcracker Suite - Boogie Woogie Christmas

The Nutty Cracker Suite: Thoroughly Modern Millie

The Nutty Cracker Suite - Thoroughly Modern Millie

Three Suites – Duke Ellington

Three Suites - Duke Ellington

Vocal Virtuosity

The Sugarplum Dance (Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy): Take 6 – The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

A pop à cappella take on the classic.
The Sugarplum Dance (Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy) - The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Crack the Nut: SoVoSo

Another à cappella but with less pop sensibility. The Arabian variation is especially unique.
Crack the Nut - SoVoSo

A Little Different

Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy: Baby Einstein – Baby Santa

If you’re familiar with these CDs, you’ll know that this sounds a little like an electronic toy piano.
Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy - Baby Einstein: Baby Santa

Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite & Other Works by Delibet, Fauré, Llobet & Vivaldi: Modern Mandolin Quartet

I particularly like the Russian, Arabian, and Chinese variations.
Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite & Other Works by Delibet, Fauré, Llobet & Vivaldi - Modern Mandolin Quartet

Waltz of the Flowers: Christmas Music / Metal Madness – The Best of Rock Guitar Collection

There are other Nutcracker selections on this album. The arrangements aren’t all that innovative but if you’re looking for screaming guitar riffs, give this a try.
Waltz of the Flowers - Christmas Music / Metal Madness: The Best of Rock Guitar Collection

Selections from the “Nutcracker”: Overture Miniature/Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies/Valse Des Fleurs: The Carpenters – Christmas Portrait

Selections from the

Waltz of the Flowers in 6/8: N2k – Nutcracker 2000

Waltz of the Flowers under the Big Top? That’s what it sounds like. The other selections on this album aren’t that notable.
Waltz of the Flowers in 6/8 - N2k - Nutcracker 2000

Do you have a favorite, fun, or twisted version of the famous Nutcracker Suite selections?