Gruver Nutcracker Stars

by Amber Tebeest

In the tranquil town of Gruver, nestled with a population of 1100, a quartet of young performers are set to grace the stage in this year's Lone Star Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, in Amarillo. Leading this group of Gruverites is Abigail TeBeest, a seasoned sophomore at Gruver HS and a dedicated member of the Lone Star Ballet's Senior Company. This will be Abigail’s 6th year to be a part of the cast. Abigail effortlessly transitions between roles such as Clara's cousin, Dancing Maid, Gumdrop Princess, Snow Corps, Arabian Corps, and Waltz Corps, captivating audiences with her artistry.

Abigail's love for dance has sparked a flame in her younger brother, Tanner, a third-grade student at Pringle-Morse Elementary. In his fourth year on stage, Tanner brings Fritz, Party Boy, and Snow Angel, and Lamb to life, embodying the magic that first captivated him through his sister's performances. This will be Tanner’s 4th year to participate.

Joining this talented sibling group are another sibling duo Hoke and Caroline Hawkins! Hoke, a third-grader at Gruver Elementary, showcases his versatility as Fritz, Party Boy, Lamb, and Snow Angel. As the older sibling Hoke is leading his budding family tradition with this being the second year for him and his sister to grace the stage! The youngest of the group, Caroline, a first-grader at Gruver Elementary, realizes her dream of becoming a dancer through the roles of Tiny Tot, Snow Angel, and Lamb. She performed her first Nutcracker in KINDERGARTEN!

As the young talents take center stage, they embody the essence of teamwork and dedication. The Nutcracker Ballet, a timeless classic, weaves its magic through over 100 cast members, from children and teens to Professional Company Dancers. Guided by Ballet Mistress Roxann Seaton, the production has been in rehearsals since October, a testament to the commitment and passion of all involved.

This year's Nutcracker extravaganza promises not only enchanting performances but also a remarkable feat—eight performances in four days, including two school shows that draw thousands of students from across the FIVE states. Of the eight performances five are open to the public, providing a magical experience for the entire community.

As the show date approaches, the TeBeest and Hawkins families exemplify unwavering dedication, carpooling and covering close to 1,000 miles a week in the last two weeks alone.

Step into the enchanting world of the Nutcracker, where a magical journey unfolds. From the iconic battle with the Mouse King to the Land of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy reigns supreme, the Nutcracker ballet captures hearts with its timeless tale of wonder and fantasy.

Join us in celebrating this heartwarming holiday tradition, where dreams take center stage, miles are traveled, and the spirit of community shines brightly. For show times and tickets, visit

Abigail and Tanner are the children of Jason and Amber TeBeest, and Hoke and Caroline are the children of Sally and Kyle Hawkins.

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