Press Releases

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ features guest artist

New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Jonathan Stafford

Carlisle, Pa. (November 19, 2010) – Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) is pleased to announce that its Dec. 18 and 19 Hershey Theatre performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,™ will feature guest artist Jonathan Stafford (Cavalier), who is a Carlisle native and CPYB alumnus.

Considered one of the top dancers in the world, Stafford performs with the New York City Ballet, where he has been principal dancer since May 2007.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to come back to Hershey, Pa., as a guest artist for CPYB's The Nutcracker,” comments Stafford. “I have many fond memories of performing The Nutcracker as a kid at the Hershey Theatre and I am excited to relive some of those memories this December. I also find that it is inspiring to perform side-by-side with the students from CPYB and that I feed off of their enthusiasm."

Since joining New York City Ballet, Mr. Stafford has danced featured roles in George Balanchine’s Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Cortège Hongrois, Divertimento No. 15, Episodes, Firebird, The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (Cavalier, Hot Chocolate, Dr. Stahlbaum, and Mother Ginger), Jewels (Emeralds and Diamonds), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lysander), Orpheus, Prodigal Son, Serenade, Symphony In C (First Movement), Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, and Western Symphony (First Movement); Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering, Fancy Free, Fanfare (Double Bass), I’m Old Fashioned, Interplay, In the Night, Les Noces, and 2 & 3 Part Inventions; Peter Martins’ A Fool For You (Rockhouse), Octet, Romeo + Juliet (Friar Lawrence), River of Light, The Sleeping Beauty (Prince Desire and Gold), Songs of the Auvergne, Swan Lake (“Pas de Quatre” and Spanish), and The Waltz Project; and Christopher Wheeldon’s Klavier and Polyphonia.

Stafford will perform in CPYB’s George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ at 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 18 and 2 p.m. Dec. 19 at the historic Hershey Theatre, Hershey, Pa. Tickets range from $28-$48, and can be purchased by calling 717.534.3405 or visiting

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ is made possible in part by production sponsor M&T Bank. CPYB is supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Cultural Enrichment Fund.


MEDIA OPPORTUNITY: We invite the media to attend upcoming rehearsals and speak with the performers and staff about the performance. For more information, please contact Bonnie Schulte at 717.245.1191 or Coverage opportunities of performances are also available and must be set up through Bonnie Schulte. Marcia Dale Weary, Founding Artistic Director Alan Hineline, CEO and Resident Choreographer


About Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
Established in 1955 by Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet is a nationally and internationally recognized school of classical ballet headquartered in Carlisle, Pa. Now in its 55th year, CPYB’s mission is to inspire, educate and enrich the lives of the students and the region through training in and the performance of classical ballet.


Jonathan Stafford, Principal Dancer New York City Ballet
Born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Jonathan Stafford began his dance training at the age of eight with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. Stafford entered the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet full time in the fall of 1997. Stafford was invited to become an apprentice with New York City Ballet in October 1998 and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in February 1999. He was promoted to the rank of soloist in March of 2006 and became a
principal dancer in May 2007.

Stafford originated the role of Paris in Mr. Martins’ Romeo + Juliet as well as originating a featured role in Mauro Bigonzetti’s Luce Nascosta.

Stafford received the Martin E. Segal Award from the School of American Ballet in 1999. His film work includes Columbia Pictures’ Center Stage. Stafford is the brother of NYCB principal Abi Stafford.

CPYB George Balachine's The Nutcracker features NYCBallet artist News Announcement.pdf