The Nutcracker was the perfect venue to benefit our city shelter, and give back to the people of Hoboken in the most creative way I know how, through dance. This venue was put together from top to bottom in a short two and a half months, but it was a long time in the making! It was something I wanted to do from the very beginning when I first opened Hoboken Dance Academy in 2006. Patience has paid off, as now I have a wonderful troupe of dancers and I am now able to form my dance company! The dedication that each of these dancers have to the art form is truly unbelievable. I am so very proud of all of them! Watching them grow as artists is my greatest gift.
The academy is comprised of wonderful teaching artists: Kate Wray, Mandy Stallings, LeeAnet Noble, and Annetta Zalsberg. Their gift of dance is given week after week to these children. I always wanted to give a NYC dance education to my students and I have that now with my staff. They have graced some of the most prestigious stages in NYC and abroad.
This Nutcracker would not have been possible without the help from Hoboken Board of Education, Superintendent Peter Carter and all Board Members. Also, Mo Degenarro and Tim Calligy – without them we would not have had a stage! From Hoboken High School, thank you Dr. Cella, Ms. Paula O’Haus for graciously providing light, a lighting designer and light board technician, Jared Ramos for stepping in and up, Mayor Zimmer and the City of Hoboken, specifically, Leo Pelligrini, Geri Fallo, Tom Sweeny and Eddie Miller for providing us sound!
The sheer number of dedicated volunteers from this generous community who contributed to this production overwhelmed me! Thank you Alison Borelli, Barbara Bravo, Jaime Bravo, Amy Bilyard, Jaz Conlon, Lisa McIntyre, Annette Murch, Rowan Paladino, Carrie Phillips, Robert Pino, Deb Veloce and John Veloce.
Sincerest thanks to all of my sponsors! Basket of Distinction, Ben and Jerry’s, Dr. Frank Depaola DDS., Empire Coffee and Tea,Hartshorn Portraiture, Johnny Rockets, Kidsville, Myoptics, Napoli’s Brick Oven Pizza, Peper Apparel & Parlor Shoes, and W. Kodak Jewelers.
Special thanks to Garden Street Music for editing, BobCo. Construction for the custom carpentry, The Office for donating all the printing, and the Wallace School Peer Leadership Group who assisted on the day of the show and The Tree Barn who donated the Christmas tree in memory of Harvey.
Giving back to the community has always been on my mind. While I have donated classes to special events around town and given out scholarships, it just wasn’t enough. I knew I could give more to the city my family and I now call home. All proceeds from the Nutcracker production will be donated to The Hoboken Shelter.
Hoboken Dance Academy’s Nutcracker is now the new Hoboken Holiday Tradition! Thank you all for your incredible generosity. My simple dream of bringing a NYC dance education to the Hoboken Community has come true.
Michelle Donelson Renda,