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Latin-styled ‘Nutcracker’ ballet set at Palo Verde High

Imagine the Sugar Plum Fairy from E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Nutcracker” twirling to Latin music, alternating between salsa and ballet while maintaining the classical repertoire of the original production.

On Saturday, dance couple Jimi and Paula Jordan are teaming up with artistic director Luz Morante to bring that to life as they host their first big-stage production since opening their dance studio, Jordance Studios on West Flamingo Road, in March. They teach ballet and salsa and are mixing the two in “The Nutcracker with a Latin Twist.”

“It’s always been kind of a thought to us — doing the Nutcracker story with salsa,” 27-year-old Jimi Jordan said. “We were bouncing ideas back and forth and finally we decided to do it. We kept the main story, but we added a twist of what we do with the salsa part.”

Morante, 50, who is Paula’s mother, has worked with ballet dancers since Paula was a child. She said she has been directing “The Nutracker” for 14 years, spending much of her time with young children.

“There’s nothing like seeing a smile on a child’s face,” Morante said. “Ballet to me is the base for every single dance, including sports — like ice skating, gymnastics. … That’s what I always try to expose to my students.”

It’s something she also exposed to Paula, who’s now 29. She started coaching Paula when she was 12.

“She would always take me to watch the company class,” Paula said. “I got to sit with the director of the whole ballet, and I would listen to them talk about corrections and how they corrected after each scene. I thought that was really inspiring.”

Paula referred to the performance as a way to escape, without escaping the dance world.

“Ballets are so expensive in the Latin community, and, sadly, we don’t have as many resources,” she said. “Many people have never seen a ballet in their lives. So we wanted to bring something to them so that they can be able to say they’ve had that experience of attending a ballet.”

Contact Mia Sims at msims@reviewjournal.com. Follow @miasims___ on Twitter.

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