5 Reasons The Short & Suite Nutcracker Was Voted “Wichita’s Best Community Event” in 2021!


After several years of near sell-out performances followed by four filmed television airings on PBS last December, The Midwest Dance Mechanix Short & Suite Nutcracker has established itself as a “must do” holiday tradition for families; particularly those with young children. Voted Wichita’s “Best Community Event” in 2021 by the Wichita Eagle Readers Choice awards, this special production is thrilled to be heading back to the live stage this December with expanded performance opportunities, new costumes, and even more memory making experiences that have made it the special event our community has grown to love. 


Here are the Top 5 Reasons this event will become one of your family’s favorite holiday traditions.

  1. It’s short and “suite”… the perfect length to delight guests and keep them engaged. Jana Owen, Artistic Director, wanted to offer the Wichita community a Nutcracker option that was appealing to audiences of all ages, including very young children. “To me, the Nutcracker is magical! Watching the story unfold through the eyes of a child is my favorite”, said Owen. Her “suite” twist on the the classic holiday ballet will be performed in an abbreviated format, utilizing voiced narration during the musical interludes to keep children engaged in the magical story of dancing dolls, sparkling snowflakes and mischievous mice. “My vision was to create an artistic story that could be enjoyed by very young children as well as the young at heart; by ballet experts as well as first time audience members”, said Owen. The show running time is approximately 75 minutes, including an intermission.

  1. It’s more than just a ballet… it’s an interactive experience! Owen wanted guests to experience even more holiday magic so she’s offering a variety of memory making experiences for guest to enjoy before and after the performance. These “bonus features” include children’s Santa “Wish Lists”, live visits with Santa, autographs and picture opportunities with costumed cast members, pointe shoe decorating kits, a “Land of Sweets Shoppe” filled with delectable fresh baked treats from local bakers, shopping opportunities and more! Even the children’s playbill is interactive; including both educational and entertaining activities for kids to enjoy during the show and at home.

  1. Wichita ballet legend, Stan Rogers, is part of Owen’s creative team. Owen has teamed up with former Friends University Ballet Director, Stan Rogers, to create the beautiful and classic choreography and costuming for the show. Owen and Ballet Director, Trudy Souba, are former students of Rogers and together, they have performed in and produced countless Nutcracker productions. The threesome are nothing less than a creative ballet “dream team” and it will be a treat to watch their vision and artistry come to life on the stage!

  1. You can take a peek “Behind the Curtain.” New this year, audience members will have an opportunity to take a “behind the scenes” look into the making of the show. From cast interviews to real life bloopers, this short filmed feature provides additional entertainment and context for how the magic of the Nutcracker comes to life!

  1. It’s beautiful, magical and well worth the modest ticket price! While the performance may be short in length, it is certainly NOT short on professionalism, technique, and pure holiday magic! Quality dancing, beautiful costuming and creative choreography mixed with the interactive “extras” create the perfect recipe for a treasured family tradition! “I hope the audience enjoys a complete holiday experience when they attend our Nutcracker and that they leave with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads”, said Owen. There is not a bad seat in the house, but space is limited so advance ticket purchasing is strongly encouraged!

Friday, December 3rd @ 6:30 pm | Saturday, December 4th @ 2 pm & 6:30 pm
Sunday, December 5th @ 4 pm

Ticket Prices: Adults – $25 and Children – $15

Performance Location: Wichita Center for Performing Arts


Danielle Holtzman is a Wichita native who enjoys vintage shopping, Sonic Diet Cokes, chips & guacamole, reality TV and a clean house. Along with her faith, raising her family of five, alongside her husband, Vance, is her greatest love. When her oldest daughter developed a love for dance, she became immersed in a world of rhinestones and costumes and quickly mastered the art of managing a full dance schedule when her three youngest daughters followed in the footsteps of their big sister. She is now a proud “dance mom” to four girls and is using her skills from her former career as a CPA in her role as the Business Manager of Midwest Dance Mechanix, her daughter’s beloved “home away from home”.


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