Shely Pack Dancers Put on 'Nutcracker' Production

The special holiday performance stars Half Moon Bay resident John Peter Viernes, one of the original Billys in the Broadway production 'Billy Elliot The Musical.'

Many Shely Pack Dancers go on to careers in the performing arts, but it's Half Moon Bay resident John Peter "J.P." Viernes, 15, that has heads turning. Now the dancer, who was cast as Billy in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot The Musical, can be seen on stage locally in the Shely Pack production of the "Nutcracker," Dec. 19, at Skyline College in San Bruno.

Viernes began his dance training at the age of seven with the Shely Pack Dancers in Half Moon Bay. He participated in many Shely Pack recitals through 2009. Under the direction of the studio's director, Shely Pack-Manning, Viernes won national and regional dance titles.

In 2011, Viernes followed the Billy Eilliot production to Toronto, Ontario, after the show closed in Chicago. In June 2011 Viernes joined the Nation tour of Billy Elliot The Musical. Viernes even made an appearance on Oprah with Elton John.

Now Viernes is starring in the dance studio's "Nutcracker," which is not a show the Shely Pack Dancers take lightly nor is it a show they perform every holiday season, said Pack-Manning.

“The choreography is difficult and it takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to put this show together," said Pack-Manning. "In fact, we had a special summer camp this past July to introduce the students to the complexities of Tchaikovsky’s music and the nuances of the movement."

The performances are at Skyline College in San Bruno Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or in advance by calling Shely Pack Dancers at (650) 726-7811.

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