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CBSA’s ‘The Children’s Nutcracker’ Holds Open Auditions


Christmas is coming early for young performers as the award-winning Children’s Ballet of San Antonio (CBSA) will hold open auditions for The Children’s Nutcracker at the Dance Center of San Antonio on Saturday, Aug. 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Performers ages three to 19 are invited to register online for an audition time. The Children’s Nutcracker is looking for ballet, tap, folklorico, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary dancers, along with gymnasts, actors and vocalists. Performers with special needs are encouraged to attend a more relaxed audition on Friday, Aug. 25, from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. All performers will be cast in roles that showcase and highlight their individual talents and strengths and allow them to shine brighter than the Christmas star!

The Children’s Nutcracker is a beloved holiday tradition that features all the enchantment, joy and wonder synonymous with this timeless tale. From fighting mice to fairies, soldiers to snow queens, the show takes audiences on an adventure where holiday dreams do come true. Taking place at the Lila Cockrell Theatre on Dec. 8 and 9, this world-class production pulls out all the stops for a holiday extravaganza the whole family will enjoy. From a pre-show holiday market to spectacular digital and physical scenery, captivating special effects, and interactive elements, The Children’s Nutcracker is the perfect way for families to kick off the holidays and capture the magic of the season.

The Children’s Nutcracker 2023 offers young performers the chance to train with the best of the best, from Master Ballet Teachers to internationally acclaimed choreographers. This year, performers will be able to work with Nutcracker experts Aliaksandra Krukava and Nurlan Kinerbayev from the world-renowned Vaganova method of Russian Ballet. This is the same prestigious method that has turned out such household names as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, and Anna Pavlova, to name a few. The dynamic Russian duo will be on hand this year to help with staging, exposing both the performers and the audience to the most authentic experience.

Performers will also have the unique opportunity to work with Vanessa Bessler, former Prima Ballerina and founder of CBSA. Bessler, who has earned the Youth America Grand Prix Outstanding Teacher Award for the past eight consecutive years, is world-renowned for discovering and cultivating young, local talent. Under her tutelage, these elite artists have had the privilege to train in some of the world’s best academies, including the Royal Ballet School in London, the Bolshoi Ballet in Russia, the School of American Ballet in New York City, and countless others. Through recognition, awards, and scholarships from the most prestigious ballet competitions and schools in the world for many of its dancers, CBSA has elevated San Antonio to the world stage, making it a strong player in the performing arts world.

CBSA is the only professional-level dance company in Texas to offer lead roles to dancers as young as eight years old. Designed to bridge the gap between young students and professional dancers, it is a gateway for young artists interested in pursuing a professional dance career, pointing their toes in the right direction.

The Children’s Ballet of San Antonio (CBSA) seeks to inspire the pursuit of excellence and prepare children for productive and creative lives through dance by offering extensive training and performance opportunities for talented children from all backgrounds.


Dance Center of San Antonio
126 W. Rector, Suite 120
San Antonio, TX 78216


Fri. Aug. 25, 5:30 – 6:00 p.m. for special needs performers
Sat. Aug. 26, 10:30 – 6:00 p.m. for general auditions

All students must register here to secure audition times.

Photos courtesy Children’s Ballet of San Antonio.