Mullica Hill girl, 8, to perform in Pennsylvania Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

McAndrew, a third grader at Harrison Township School, was cast in four roles in George Balanchine’s "The Nutcracker," which will run from Dec. 6 to 31 at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. 

Brooke McAndrew in costume (Special to The Sun)

A local girl’s dance dreams are coming true.

Brooke McAndrew, 8, a third grader at Harrison Township School, was cast in four roles in Pennsylvania Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker,” which will run from Dec. 6 to 31 at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.

It will be Brooke’s second year of performing in this production, where she will be repeating her roles as an angel and soldier, as well as two additional roles this year, Fritz and a party girl.

“I am so excited to be in the party scene this year. We do a lot of acting and wear beautiful costumes, and it’s just a lot of fun,” says Brooke. Since the auditions in September, they practiced on weekends only, but as opening night gets closer, they rehearse about four hours a day. She also spends 6.5 hours a week training in classes at the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia. 

Brooke McAndrew (Special to The Sun)

“I love watching the professionals work in rehearsals,” says Brooke. “And performing in a theater like the Academy is just awesome. We decorate our dressing rooms and play games backstage,” she adds. “I’ve made a lot of ballet friends.”

This is the 51st year for Pennsylvania Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”, which has become a cultural tradition in Philadelphia. 

“We love capturing the holiday spirit of Philadelphia each year with ‘The Nutcracker,’” said Angel Corella, the artistic director, in a press release. “Whether it’s your first year or 50th, join us for festive holiday magic while making lifelong memories. Some of our dancers actually got their start as children in ‘The Nutcracker.’ For many at the professional level, as well as our audience, this magical story is how they fell in love with the art form.”

Performances will run Dec. 6 to 31 at the Academy of Music. For tickets and information, visit academyofmusic.ticketoffices.com/Pennsylvania