The Nutcracker performed for Valley students

FRESNO, Calif.

Friday morning more than 1,300 students from all over the Valley got a special holiday treat -- the first show in the 20th production of the Central California Ballet's, "The Nutcracker."

"This is our gift to the children of the San Joaquin Valley."

The dance company will be in town from December 9th through 11th. It will perform three times at the Saroyan Theatre.

Artistic director for the Lively Arts Foundation, Diane Mosier, said its important for students to see to this type of dance and self-expression. "We try to reach out to the farming community because those are the children that ordinarily don't come to the theatre."

Kids from kindergarten to middle school came from all over the Valley too see a holiday tradition. "I think that what is so interesting is that they are amazed no one talks, they're expecting people to talk and also being from a T.V. generation, they're not really used to just sitting and watching."

This is the 4th time Baird Middle School student Siobhan Tiammell says she's seen the Nutcracker and she says it never gets old. "I think it's a really good thing to go to because of all the new culture we learn about because ballet is so ancient."

While some like the history of the ballet, others marveled at their strength.

"I liked how they jumped right onto their toes -- 2 To 5 feet right into the air and then land right on their tip toes -- very athletic," said 6th grader Keanu Fuentes.

An eye-opening experience and a festive way to celebrate the Christmas holiday.

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