My input as to why the children are a bit sloppy. When James was the Director of OBT he usually had two castings with only one or two different children in the second casting. Most of the children were his strongest dancers, those that Haydee and James felt had talent. He would work in the younger one's by letting them perform in the afternoon and mid-week performances, but he always put them along with the A cast. The kids that were in the nutcracker performed a lot, and usually had a lot of roles. James also expected perfection from the kids, a lot of tears during those years.
Christopher run's it a lot different. He has three casting for all roles, and lets all of the kids dance a equal amount of time. Not always the strongest and certainly not all of the talent. But, I think this sell's a lot of tickets. Also, the kids enjoy Christopher much more then James. He seem's to enjoy all of the kids and respects them. Not nearly as many tears. But, I must say, I wonder why OBT does not let the talented students dance more often. I know of a few very strong dancers who are leaving the school this year.
One more thing, Haydee was an EXCEPTIONAL school director. She was so picky about all of the little things, I think it showed on stage. Damara is good, but not exceptional. Some of the older students miss Haydee and her little tiny correctionos that seemed to make a huge difference. The rolling of the feet, pointing your toes. Also, all of her perfection in the arm's and the head. I think OBT lost a lot when Haydee left the school. Our kids miss her.