Christmas ballet on Middle Road

Local dance studio brings ‘The Nutcracker’ to community

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On Saturday, Nov. 18, the American Ballet Studio in Bayport put on their “Magic on Middle” event for the community.

The event was organized to create a night for family and friends to begin the holiday season and support the local arts.

“Our vision was to create a small-town Christmas market right here in Middle Road in Bayport that felt magical and quaint,” said organizer, Jennifer Theo Kupstas. “It was a beautiful night under the stars and lights, with neighbors sipping on hot chocolate and eating homemade pizza and cookies.”

Among the festivities for the night included a meet-and-greet with Santa, face painting, caroling, craft vendors, a planetarium experience, and an excerpt from American Dance Theater of Long Island’s “Nutcracker” performance.

“It truly is a community experience, with Bayport Flower Houses donating Christmas trees to help create our holiday atmosphere, and Off the Block restaurant donating trays of chili and mac-and-cheese,” said Theo Kupstas.

Dancers dressed in their costumes as the Mouse Queen, Columbine Doll, Soldier Doll, and Party Children, including Clara and the Mice to bring the perennial Christmas story of “The Nutcracker” to life.

“The students play a large role in hosting the evening, from dancing, to face painting, caroling, and monitoring the lines for Santa and crafting,” said Theo Kupstas

The students from American Ballet Studio perform as members of the American Dance Theater of Long Island that produces an annual “Nutcracker” performance. ADTLI is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring the arts to the local community.

The artistic director, Kathleen Kairns Scholz, was a professional ballerina and is “passionate about not only teaching the art of ballet, but creating a space for creativity and a love of dance to flourish.”

This year is the company’s 23rd “Nutcracker” at the Van Nostrand Theater at Suffolk County Community College, on Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 10 at 1 p.m.