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Sponsored by H-E-B Tournament of Champions and endowed by Edie Rogat & Cotter Cunningham through the Ballet Austin Foundation

Each year, more than 13,000 Central Texas elementary school students and teachers attend Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker School Shows. The mission of these student matinees is to provide one act of a professional ballet performance at a minimal cost for local elementary-aged students. To enhance students’ experience, we also offer The Nutcracker docent program, an optional pre-performance educational program geared towards 3rd graders that includes engaging activities for the classroom setting.

Important Information

  • The Nutcracker School Shows performances will take place December 7-9, 2021.
  • Each act of The Nutcracker runs approximately 50 minutes long.
  • Admission to The Nutcracker School Shows performances is limited to elementary school students (Kindergarten through 5th grade) and their teachers and chaperones. Chaperones must be 18 years of age or older.
  • A minimum of 10 students and one teacher per school is required for registration.
  • We invite campuses to register for either Act I or Act II of The Nutcracker.
  • For student safety, all teachers and chaperones attending The Nutcracker School Shows must have a school ID or ID sticker from the school, and be present to help escort students to and from the theater. All other adults will not be allowed to enter the theater.
  • Individual tickets will not be sold for these performances. All tickets must be purchased through the school and all individuals must be included in the school’s attendance numbers. No tickets will be sold at the theater on performance days.
  • All reservations must be confirmed by Ballet Austin. After you submit your registration information, you will receive an order confirmation via email signaling that your reservation is confirmed.
  • All payment must be received before your campus attends The Nutcracker School Shows.

Performance Dates

  • Tuesday, December 7th
  • Wednesday, December 8th
  • Thursday, December 9th

Ticket Prices (for one act of the ballet)

Minimum group size is 10 elementary-aged students.

  • $5 per student
  • $4 per student for Title I Campuses

Includes all teachers, administrators & chaperones.

  • 1 free adult chaperone per every 22 students
  • Additional chaperones are $25 each

Chaperone Policy: For the safety of the students, any chaperones without a school ID or ID sticker from the school will not be allowed into the theater. Chaperones who do not arrive in the school’s vehicle will not be allowed to enter the theater unless the school notifies Ballet Austin ahead of time that chaperones are arriving separately and have already been counted in the seating totals.

The Nutcracker Docent Program

Optional Pre-Performance Educational Component for The Nutcracker School Shows

Prior to The Nutcracker School Shows, Ballet Austin Guild members and other volunteer docents visit schools to help students learn more about dance and professional ballet dancers, including topics and materials such as:

  • The History of Ballet
  • Dancers as Artists & Athletes
  • The Life of Professional Dancers
  • Dance Shoes
  • Ballet Costumes
  • The History, Music & Story of The Nutcracker

Our multi-media Docent presentation fits neatly into one 45-minute class period. It meets 3rd Grade TEKS for fine arts, language arts, math, science, and social studies, and includes fun elements such as video excerpts, simple dance activities, real pointe shoes and ballet slippers, actual costumes from past productions, and a Q&A session during which your students can have all of their questions answered. The docent program is offered only to those schools attending The Nutcracker School Shows.

Ballet Austin, the Ballet Austin Guild, and volunteers have been providing this free in-school educational program for students throughout Central Texas for more than 25 years. The Docent program will help make a field trip to the ballet a meaningful and enjoyable educational experience for Central Texas students and educators.

Requesting the Docent Presentation for Your School


The availability of docent presentations is limited and all requests should be submitted in conjunction with your school’s The Nutcracker School Shows registration.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Schools must reserve a minimum of 45 minutes for a docent presentation.
  • Docent requests are accepted for Central Texas schools within a 30-minute drive of Austin city limits.
  • Teachers must be present in the classroom during the docent presentation in order to help with equipment and maintain discipline.
  • Teachers are responsible for ensuring that the classroom and equipment are ready for the docent presentation prior to the arrival of the Docent.

Required equipment for the multi-media docent presentation:

  • A computer with PowerPoint capabilities
  • A projector connected to the computer
  • Speakers for the computer
  • A CD player
  • An overhead camera projector is required as a backup for all docent presentations
  • If your school does not have PowerPoint capabilities, the docent can give the presentation using the overhead camera projector

Virtual Docent Presentation


While all schools registered for Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker School Shows will receive a link to the Virtual Docent Presentation, it will primarily serve as a resource for schools that are unable to schedule a live Docent visit due to limitations of distance, time, or COVID-19. The Virtual Docent Presentation is offered as a series of three 10-minute videos:

  • Episode 1 – The Art and Athleticism of Ballet
  • Episode 2 – Bringing a Ballet to the Stage
  • Episode 3 – The Story, History, & Music of The Nutcracker


If you have any questions that are not answered on this page, please contact Community Education Assistant Tori Johnson by email, or call our School Shows Hotline at 512.766.5073.

The Nutcracker School Shows Sponsor

HEB Tournament Of Champions
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