Mickey Gunter is a program director, dance teacher and choreographer, and lives in Chehalis, WA with his wife, two kids, and cat. He is also an information technology analyst, comedy writer, and bodyguard. This is his first book.
Eric Freeberg has illustrated over 25 books for children, and has created work for magazines and ad campaigns. He was a winner of the 2010 London Book Fair’s Children’s Illustration Competition; the 2010 Holbein Prize for Fantasy Art, International Illustration Competition, Japan Illustrators Association ; Runner-Up, 2013 SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Magazine Merit Award; Honorable Mention, 2009 SCBWI Don Freeman Portfolio Competition; and 2nd Prize, 2009 Clymer Museum’s Annual Illustration Invitational. He was also a winner of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award.
Although this book was written for the enjoyment of all of those who love The Nutcracker, it was also created to illuminate the fun and adventurous nature and application of ballet and dance. By creating a kingdom in which the male character of the Nutcracker experiences, my hope is that everyone, especially the boys who read this story, see that ballet and dance is full of adventure and action.
In addition to writing this book, I am also a dance teacher, choreographer, comedy writer, celebrity bodyguard, former investigator, and once played a henchman to a reincarnated Rasputin on a TV show. I also created a program to help dance studios encourage boys and young men to try ballet. This is based on a program I implemented at the small town studio my wife and I own, where we have over 50 boys and young men studying ballet each week.
When gentlemen enter ballet they join a tradition that was shared by young men who trained to become knights. If you are interested in the ballet practice and don't know where to start, please send us an email at and we can assist in guiding you to your very own ballet adventure.
Our company BOYSDANCETOO has been working with Mr. Gunter since 2017. He is a visionary and we want to help him realize his vision because it's one that male dancers deserve. His vision started with his successful male ballet program in Washington, continues with this book and will not stop.
This story belongs on stage. It is so rich in imagination - I can see the choreography, the costumes, the set design already. It needs to be performed as much as it needs to be on every coffee table.