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Upcoming Nutcracker performance to showcase Valley dancers

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Kayla Abbott said she’s been dancing since the age of three.

“I've always dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer,” Abbott, 17, said.

It’s a dream that 16-year-old Christina Pansing also shares.

“It's been pretty much my whole life,” Pansing said.

Both dancers from the Deborah Case Dance Academy are getting a taste of their dream this holiday season.

Abbott and Pansing are joining 75 ballet artists from around the world to perform in “Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet" at the McAllen Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Dec., 28.

One of the professional ballet artists who will be onstage is Bogdana Kopiy from Ukraine. She’s been a part of the Nutcracker production since 2013.

“I never would have thought — here in the Valley we're such a small little town — never would I thought we'd have dancers like Bogdana from Ukraine or all around the places to come here and be able to dance with them on stage and audition for them,” Pansing said.

Deborah Case, owner of the McAllen-based dance academy, said the academy has been partnering with the Nutcracker Magical Christmas Ballet Team since the early 2000s.

December’s performance is the first time the partnership has returned since the pandemic.

“They have been touring all over the world, that's just an amazing opportunity I see for our dancers to be able to connect with them, ask great questions and learn,” Case said.

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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