And the winner is...

69 schools across the country participated in this year’s Create and Dance: The Nutcracker Creative Challenge. The standard was incredibly high and we are pleased to announce that Greenway Primary Academy (South East) have been awarded first prize, winning tickets to the Schools’ Matinee performance of Romeo and Juliet, in addition to the prized Nutcracker trophy. Congratulations!

The judging panel noted how difficult it was to choose the winners, as standards were so exceptional. 3089 children took part in the programme, with 108 teachers taking part in 8 INSETs across the country. In addition, 1851 children and teachers attended 10 cinema screenings of The Nutcracker. We wish to congratulate all those who took part.

Please take some time to watch the regional winning entries (below). If you’re a teacher who hasn’t taken part in our Create and Dance programmes before, and are inspired to explore our range of lesson plans, please visit the Create and Dance programme page, or email create&

Feedback from the children

“I enjoyed working together with my friends to create our very own dance.”

“I realised that dancing wasn’t just for girls and it wasn’t just about being a ‘ballerina’. Despite being unsure at first, I really enjoyed the project and would recommend it.”

“It was nice to see everyone try so hard to create different parts for our finished dance and I liked showing my parents what we had created.”

Second place went to Gomersal Primary School (North West) and Third place to Phillimore Primary School (Yorkshire and Humber).

South West Regional Winner

East of England Regional Winner

East Midlands Regional Winner

North East Regional Winner

West Midlands Regional Winner

Congratulations to all the teachers and students who took part in Create and Dance Nutcracker - we look forward to seeing your dances next year!

“The training was carefully planned so that each skill was a scaffold for the next… and certainly built my confidence in my abilities to teach and deliver it. I returned to school with a new-found zeal and zest and couldn’t wait to teach my class… Everything that I experienced the previous day was used in the lesson and pupils were enthused and engaged in the story!” Winni Smith, Year 3 teacher, Warren Primary School

A Message from Gary Avis

“I am thrilled to be an ambassador for the Create and Dance programme because it gives children the opportunity not only to learn about dance, but to develop their creativity and other transferable skills like self-confidence and resilience.

I hope the students that took part have enjoyed the process and will continue to be inspired by the work we perform at the Royal Opera House.”

Gary Avis, Principal Character Artist and Ballet Master, The Royal Ballet.

Generously supported by The Sackler Trust