A Nutcracker in Paradise
Season 1, Episode 10

Air date

August 20, 2012


Amy Sherman-Palladino


Amy Sherman-Palladino

U.S. Viewers
(in millions)


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A Nutcracker in Paradise is the 10th episode of Bunheads Season 1. It aired on August 20, 2012 and was the summer finale before the show went on winter break and is set to return January 7, 2013.


Fanny is asking Michelle about the evil mice dance she told her to choreograph. Michelle warns her that she put her own spin on it and brought in Sasha. Fanny loves her Wall Street take on it and brings Sasha back in. Fanny asks Michelle to take care of the studio while she goes on a romantic getaway with Michael but then a girl walks in and begins practicing Clara. Fanny realizes she forgot about her, "The Ringer", a massively dedicated ballerina who was brought in as Clara.

Michelle notices the conflict between Ginny, Boo, and Melanie and quickly resolves it. However Sasha heads down to fix her problem with "the ringer", who is determined to stay as Clara. Michelle had organized a fundraiser at the Oyster Bar, which is a success. However Boo is still down about Carl until Michelle gives her advice and she makes a public apology, which Carl accepts. However things don't go well for Fanny, who learned that Michael has bought property in Montana. Michelle tries to talk to him and tells him about Fanny's plans. Sasha meets a boy named Tyler, who is a part of the school basketball team. He helps hide her as the ringer is following Sasha around, hoping she will get injured. Godot and Michelle eventually share a kiss as he reveals he's heading to Australia. The next day, Fanny is on edge over last night and keeps re-pacing one of the duets in the performance. Ginny keeps telling Matisse all of her future plans with her and Charlie until she sees Charlie with another girl in his car and decides to walk home.

It's show time and Ginny and Melanie get into a fight before they go onstage but the first part of the performance goes well. Michelle tries to spray all the girls with hairspray before they go out on stage but instead sprays them with Mace, a type of pepper spray/tear gas. The girls are all blinded and knock into each other during the nutcracker. Everyone is in a panic back stage and the ringer takes Sasha's role as Clara.

Everyone being maced by Michelle

Everyone ends up at the hospital. Ginny and Melanie make up while Fanny blames Michelle for everything bad that has happened recently. Sasha meets Tyler again, now sporting a punk look and calling himself by his middle name Roman. Michelle ends up having another dream dance audition. Hubbell turns out as the one watching the dance and talks to her in her dream. Soon she wakes up. Parents are screaming at Fanny about Michelle and she begins to leave. Sasha stands up on her chair and tries to stop her and the other dancers quickly follow. Michelle thanks them, but runs out the door.

Main CastEdit


Performance Performed by Song Artist
The Nutcracker Paradise Dance Acadamy Various Compositions Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsy
Maybe This Time Michelle Simms Maybe This Time Covered by Michelle Simms (Orginally by the cast of Cabaret)


  • This episode was orginally going to be the season finale, however more episodes were ordered.
  • This episode is the summer finale.
  • Sasha returns to Paradise Dance Academy.
  • The episode features a cameo by So You Think You Can Dance season 8 finalist Ricky Jaime as RaJahnae's duet partner.
  • Actress Lyrica Woodruff guest starred as "The Ringer"
  • This episode features Michelle's 2nd dream sequence audition.
  • At the end of the episode, where all the bunheads stand on chairs, declaring, "O Captain, My Captain," this was a reference to the end of the film, Dead Poets Society just like in the film, the teacher (Michelle) left anyway, after thanking [her] students.