For many, Nutcracker is their first ballet to learn, to perform, or simply to behold. It’s a musical kaleidoscope of costumes, candy, characters, and Christmas, and the local Alexandria Community Nutcracker never fails to impress with its rousing rendition under the tutelage of company directors Courtney Betzel, Gennifer Difilippo, and Adrienne Taylor. According to the Alexandria Gazette, "Now in its 11th year, the Alexandria Community Nutcracker is continuing its own tradition of performing the famous ballet with a modern twist by including tap, jazz, gymnastics, Irish dance, and hip hop in the choreography. More than 250 dancers and musicians, from age 3 to age 18, bring the magic and eloquence of Tchaikovsky’s 1892 classic score to life on stage at West Potomac High School. Through a special partnership with the West Potomac Academy Dance Program, academy students in the program have the opportunity not only to perform in the Nutcracker but also to help backstage with the full-length, large-scale production. Also getting in on the act is the West Potomac High School orchestra and Beyond the Page Theatre Company of West Potomac High School. Orchestra musicians play for the audience prior to the performance and perform The Waltz of the Flowers for the dancers, and Beyond the Page Theatre Company students also perform in the show and help backstage with tech duties." As per Alexandria Gazette, "Difilippo is thankful for the generous contributions of these professionals for Alexandria Community Nutcracker. “This performance is becoming a yearly favorite for many in the community, and we are very proud of this production. It is wonderful for all the dancers from different studios to realize they can work together and create a beautiful production."