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Education Program Volunteer Opportunities

The Nutcracker School Shows Ushers


Help us welcome 8,800 Central Texas elementary school students and teachers attending Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker School Shows In-Person Performances at the Long Center. The mission of these shows is to provide one act of a live ballet performance experience in a large theater at a minimal cost for local elementary students.

Ballet Austin Guild members and other community volunteers greet school children at their buses, escort them to the theater for the one-hour performance by Ballet Austin, and then safely escort them back to their buses after the show.

Volunteers can sign up for one or both days. Shifts start at 8:30am and end at approximately 1:30pm. This year, we will provide snacks and a light lunch, thanks to the generosity of our The Nutcracker School Shows Sponsor, H-E-B.

2023 The Nutcracker School Shows Volunteer Schedule:

  • Wednesday December 6: 8:30am to 1:30pm
  • Thursday December 7: 8:30am to 1:30pm

Questions about ushering during The Nutcracker School Shows? Contact our School Shows Ushers Co-Chairs, Brooke Howard and Jennifer Millspaugh, at

The Nutcracker
Docent Program


As part of Ballet Austin’s Education programming, Ballet Austin Guild members and other volunteers from the community visit schools throughout Central Texas to provide students with an educational presentation about dance and The Nutcracker. Every season, approximately 60 schools request Docent presentations as a precursor to attending The Nutcracker School Shows. This curriculum is an invaluable educational tool for our community.

All necessary materials are provided, including a retired costume, pointe shoes, and a PowerPoint presentation with embedded movies and music, which is designed to enable anyone who has a passion for ballet to give a wonderful, educational presentation that will engage students. In addition, your Docent training session will provide guidance and education about dance. Don’t be intimidated if you have a limited knowledge of ballet, as Ballet Austin staff can answer any question you might have. Your love and enthusiasm for dance will not only enhance the students’ theater experience, but also inspire them to become passionate about ballet.

What is expected of a docent?

  • Attend one mandatory training session.
  • Contact your school(s) immediately after training to schedule your presentation times (majority of presentations take place the week after Thanksgiving).
  • Present at least twice between the time you receive your training session and the day the children are scheduled to see the performance. Both of your presentations can be at the same school on the same day as scheduling allows.

2023 Training Sessions:

There will be one evening training session.

  • Date & Time: Monday November 6 from 6:15 to 8:15 PM
  • Location: Ballet Austin

Training includes a demo run-through of the Docent presentation, plus step-by-step help in all aspects of being a Docent.

Questions about being a Nutcracker Docent? Contact our Docent Co-Chairs, Araceli Tapia and Leslie Cox, at

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