The Nutcracker

Children and adults have been fascinated with the tradition and fantasy of The Nutcracker for decades. Since 1989, North Shore School of Dance has been presenting its annual December production. Each year, our sold-out productions include performing guest artists and dancers from the North Shore and surrounding suburbs. Over 75 dancers are cast, including students, adults, and professional dancers.

This hour long ballet is appropriate for children of all ages and continues to be a family tradition on the North Shore. The NSSD’s production of the Nutcracker has been highlighted in the Holiday Shopping night by the Highland Park Alliance, and Ravinia and Highland Park’s Winter Wonderland.

The NSSD’s Nutcracker is a giving Nutcracker. A portion of our proceeds have been donated to various organizations and charity groups over the years. In the years past, our cast has made goody bags and sent donations to our troops overseas, collected and donated items for Toys for Tots and Save-A-Pet in Grayslake, IL. We also offer a discount to the performance for all military personnel.

Please see below for 2021 Nutcracker Details:

* Details subject to change as time goes on based on updated COVID-19 safety protocols * 

In Studio Rehearsals

Wednesday, December 8 at NSSD studio 5

(No Little Mice, Sugar Fairies or Gumdrops) 

Warm Up Class (for Ballet Theatre and Dancers level Sr 1 or higher) 5:00-5:55pm studio 4

If dancers have a class at that time, please attend your regular class.


1st Act Run Through 6:00-7:10pm 

2nd Act Run Through 7:15-8:30pm  (Merlitons can leave at 7:30)


 1st act: Party Scene, Fight Scene, Snow Scene


 2nd Act: Sugar Plum, Angels, Sugar Fairies, Spanish Hot Chocolate, Tea/Chinese/Lion, Candy Canes, Gumdrops, Merlitons/Gingerbreads, Coffee/Russians, Celebration dance, closing


Friday, December 10th  at Lake Forest Academy

Dress rehearsal (make-up, hair, costume) –  Full Run & Notes

No parents are permitted in the theater at any time during rehearsals.


4:30pm   Call 1st Act    (Little Mice come at 4:55)  


5:00pm  1st act run & notes 


5:45pm  Call for 2nd Act  (Sugar Fairies & Gumdrops may arrive at 6:30)


6:30-6:45pm  Dinner/Snack break 


6:45-7:00pm    Bows Entire Cast 


7:00-8:30pm 2nd act run & notes. (Sugar Fairies, Gumdrops may leave at 7:30)




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  • NSSD is closely monitoring CDC Guidelines and will release more information regarding ticketing closer to the performance date. Stay tuned!

Tickets On Sale NOW!!


Sunday, November 14th (with rehearsals)

@ North Shore School of Dance

Dress Rehearsals & Run Throughs

Friday, November 19th Show Run Through 5:00-7:00

@ North Shore School of Dance

Sunday, November 21st Show Run Through 2:00-4:30pm

@ North Shore School of Dance

Sunday, November 28th Pick up run through 2:00-4:30pm

@ North Shore School of Dance

Wednesday, December 1st Run Through 6:00-8:30pm (No sugar fairies, gumdrops, and little mice)

@North Shore School of Dance

Sunday, December 5th Dress & Tech Rehearsal 12-6pm

@ Lake Forest Academy

Friday, December 10th Dress Rehearsal 4:30-9:00pm

@ Lake Forest Academy


Saturday, December 11th @ 3:00pm

Sunday, December 12th @ 2:00pm

@Lake Forest Academy