Small-Town Ballet Teacher Publishes Nutcracker Book for Boy Dancers

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Small-Town Ballet Teacher Publishes Nutcracker Book for Boy Dancers

A small town ballet school in rural Washington state has an unusual problem that most dance schools wish they had. They have too many boys taking ballet classes. Centralia Ballet Academy, located in Centralia Washington has over 50 boys at their studio. To help accommodate this, teacher Mickey Gunter, who owns the school with his wife Nancy, added two classes on Friday evenings. This is in addition to the four boys classes that are taught on Saturdays. They have also had to create new male roles for the upcoming production of The Nutcracker. The secret to this high number is that Mickey focuses on the thrilling, action/adventure side of ballet. For an example of this, check out the link below of video of some of his little guy students practicing a piece from The Nutcracker.

This is also evident in the new book he wrote that was just published. Fritz the Rat King is a fully illustrated adventure story based on the classic ballet that combines The Nutcracker with Where the Wild Things Are and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The artwork was done by award winning illustrator Eric Freeburg.

The book is currently on sale at and has already sold hundreds of copies around the world. Mickey is also working with a New York City theater producer to create a live production of the story. In addition to being an author and dance teacher, Mickey also works as an IT project manager, comedy writer, and celebrity bodyguard.

For information about Fritz the Rat King, call 360-623-9010, or email

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