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Community Education Volunteer Opportunities

The Nutcracker School Shows Ushers

Each year more than 13,000 Central Texas elementary school students and teachers attend Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker School Shows hosted 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 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 just one day of shows, or for all three days. Shifts start at 8:30am and end at approximately 1:30pm

2019 School Shows Schedule

  • Dec 10: 10 a.m. (Act I), 12 p.m. (Act II)
  • Dec 11: 10 a.m. (Act I), 12 p.m. (Act II)
  • Dec 12: 10 a.m. (Act I), 12 p.m. (Act II)
Nutcracker Docent Program

The Nutcracker Docent Program

As part of Ballet Austin’s Community Education programming, Guild members visit schools throughout central Texas to provide students with an educational presentation about dance and The Nutcracker. Every season, approximately 100 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, 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, Ballet Austin staff can answer any question you might have. Your love and enthusiasm for dance will not only enhance the children’s 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 during the period 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.

2019 Training Sessions:


  • Friday, November 1: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 13: 6 – 8 p.m.


  • Ballet Austin’s City View Lounge

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

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