Local youth to perform in ‘Nutcracker’

Columbia Dance to present traditional holiday classic

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These local youth will perform in "The Nutcracker" this weekend at the Royal Durst Theatre. They include (front row, left to right): Ben Gutkind, Lizzie Schneider and Rebecca Schneider; and (back row, left to right): Molly Bartley, Hannah Gutkind, Kamiah Auger-Koch and Minerva Zhou.

Clara, the Mouse King and Sugar Plum Fairy will return to the Royal Durst Theatre this weekend for the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker.”

The show is presented by Columbia Dance, a company of dancers ages 7 to 26.

Several are from the Camas and Washougal areas.

Jan Hurst, artistic director and choreographer, said the performers have been rehearsing months for the production.

“I love watching the dancers grow in the roles that they are cast,” she said. “And I enjoy how supportive they are toward each other. We have such a good community at our dance studio.”

Hurst added that the supportive community includes friends and family members of the dancers.

“They all become involved in the production,” she said. “They help with costumes and preparations. It’s like a Christmas party that goes on for several weeks.

“Our volunteers handle the wardrobe needs, and it takes a good 15 people to work on it.”

Local performers in “The Nutcracker,” include: Ben Gutkind, Lizzie Schneider, Rebecca Schneider, Molly Bartley, Hannah Gutkind, Kamiah Auger-Koch and Minerva Zhou.

The Royal Durst Theatre is located at the Vancouver School of Arts & Academics, 3101 Main St., Vancouver.

Performance times are 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, and 2 p.m. Monday.

Tickets, $10 for children ages 12 and younger; and $18 for adults, are available at Columbia Dance Center, 1700 Broadway Ave., Vancouver or at the door.

For more information, call 737-1922 or visit