TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It's been non-stop practicing for the cast of Tyler Junior College's "The Nutcracker" production.
Opening day is on December 1, and the dance academy isn't just celebrating 29 years of production, but also the growth in interest among boys who want to be dancers.
If you find yourself in the crowd and take a close look, you'll find a group of young boys playing the role of troublemakers.
"I play Clara's obnoxious brother who just runs around acting crazy," said 10-year-old Brazos Mazzare.
With a total of nine young boys ranging from ages of 7 to 13, this year 's cast has the greatest number of boys performing than in any prior year.
"I like the acting and the dancing and you feel a sense of direction," said Brazos.
For many of these boys, taking part in the arts has been a family affair. There are two pairs of brothers and at least three of the boys have sisters who are in, or have previously been in, TJC's productions.
For the TJC Dance Academy, it's a testament that the interest in arts is growing in the community. Both on and off the stage, the boys support each other and they encourage others to join them, too.
"You get to be someone you are not, and get to change who you are while you are that character," said 11-year-old Logan Blackburn.