Valley Center resident Ronan Torrence has been cast as the Nutcracker Prince in two local productions of The Nutcracker ballet. Ronan will dance at the New West Ballet Theater’s production on Thanksgiving weekend at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts and at the North County Academy of Dance’s production the following weekend at the Bob Burton Center for the Performing Arts in Fallbrook.
Ronan began studying ballet at 8-years- old under Eugenia Keefer, founder of New West Ballet in San Marcos.
“I really liked performing in shows,” Ronan said, “but it wasn’t until I was 11 that I became serious about ballet. That was when I decided it was my sport.”
After moving to Valley Center, Ronan began studying under Directors Cassandra Lund and Pablo Infante at North County Academy of Dance in Bonsall. At 13, Ronan now spends more than 18 hours per week in classes and rehearsals. “It’s a lot of time, but it’s worth it,” he said.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, a holiday tradition for many families, tells the story of a girl named Clara who is given a magical nutcracker for Christmas. The nutcracker comes to life, battles a giant rat king, is transformed into a prince, and journeys with Clara first to the Land of Snow, and then to the Land of Sweets.
“It’s a huge honor to be cast as the Nutcracker Prince,” Ronan said. “It’s a really big role for someone my age.”
When not studying ballet, Ronan attends Pamoosa Creek Academy, a private, independent-study school, and serves as an altar boy at St. Margaret Catholic Church in Oceanside.
Dancing the Nutcracker
New West Ballet
Poway Center for the Performing Arts
15498 Espola Rd,
Friday, Nov. 27, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 28, 2 and 7p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 29, 2 p.m.
North County Academy ofDance
Bob Burton Center for the Performing Arts, Fallbrook
2400 S Stage Coach Lane
Friday, Dec. 4, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 5, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 6, 2 and 6 p.m.