The Ridgefield School of Dance will present its 20th annual Nutcracker Ballet at 1:30 on Sunday, Dec. 17 at East Ridge Middle School.

The Nutcracker Ballet is a seasonal and family favorite, ringing in the holidays with a wonderful story of a young girl’s magical journey with a Nutcracker who comes to life as a soldier prince. The Nutcracker and Clara battle an army of mice let by the formidable Rat Queen with the help of toy soldiers, travel through a snowy forest, and are guided by the Sugar Plum Fairy through the fantastical Land of Sweets, all set to the classic music of Tchaikovsky. Based on the original Marius Petipa choreography with additional contributions by Ridgefield School of Dance artistic director Jessica Boelts the ballet remains fresh and new.

The Ridgefield School of Dance presents its students, from the youngest of ballerinas through its most-seasoned company dancers, as the traditional characters of the Nutcracker, including Bon Bons, the Marzipan, Angels, and revelers at a Victorian Holiday party. Dancing the role of Clara is Renee Cherry, a fifth grader at Farmingville Elementary. Ridgefield High School seniors and Company members Madison Rucolas and Mackenzie Whitelaw will dance the roles of Dew Drop and Arabian respectively, and Ms. Whitelaw will reprise her role as Queen Rat for the fourth time. Wilton High School senior Rachel Castaldi will perform the Spanish dance.  Performing as the Snow Queen is Julia Garrett of Ridgefield with Kyra Winslow as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Lily Meyler as Marzipan. Company members Eugenia Cashman, Sofia Garrett, Alexandra Magnusson, Ingrid Karlson, Ariana Mirfakhraie, Karina Rao, and Rebecca Ronai will dance the Waltz of the Snowflakes in addition to other classic parts.

Immediately following the Nutcracker, the jazz department will present Holiday Magic, a mix of original Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, and Musical Theatre choreography created by department instructors Stevi Van Meter, Michael Crawford, and Adea Sessoms.

The afternoon is a fun family event that welcomes in the holidays.

For tickets go to TheRidgefieldSchoolofDance.com or contact the school at 203-894-5957.