I won. For the first time EVER, I won something I really, really wanted! Thanks to the Military, my name was drawn for 2 tickets to see the Cincinnati Ballet perform The Nutcracker Ballet. It was the dress rehearsal – on the night before Thanksgiving…which was perfect. When I was a tiny tot, I became obsessed with ballerinas, and from the moment my Dad took me to see Cinderella dressed like a beautiful princess walking on her tip toes, I was hooked. I joined the Northwest Florida Ballet, and I danced their all the way to high school. Every year, we auditioned and performed The Nutcracker the weekend of Thanksgiving. To this day there is nothing like it that gets me excited about the Holidays. Each and every song reminds me of a memory.
The Overture reminds me of the excitement and nerves of waiting backstage with my friends for the performance to start. I remember right before going on stage as a “little girl” my wig got caught on our Guest Artist starring as the Cavalier’s jacket. Act I also reminds me of the time I was a Doll and being so nervous I would not pop out of the box just right!
The Mouse scene reminds me of my very first part in the Nutcracker as a baby Mouse, the soldier I played in middle school, the adult mouse I played later in High School.
The snow scene still sends chills down my spine and sends me into a panic as it was very fast we had intensely exhausting and challenging choreography…not to mention the fun of dancing on pointe with “snow” falling.
The beginning of Act II reminds me of one of my first roles as an Angel, and how I adored the moment we angels gathered around and stared in awe of our beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy during our dance.
A few dances such as the Russian dance in Act II crack me up thinking about the dances I choreographed for my Ballet Students just for fun 2 years ago!
Almost every song in Act II has a special memory tied to it, but the one I love most is the Waltz of the Flowers. You see, I was an understudy in the 7th grade for these company parts, and it was one night in Panama City that a friend injured her foot and the girls I looked up to asked that I step in. We worked all evening hoping I would be able to dance the role just right, and I had never been more nervous! I was so proud to have my very first chance to dance a company part that I called my Dad, and he drove all 3 hours just to watch my one big moment!
I also remember watching the sugar plum fairy and cavalier dance together dreaming I could one day be like them, and being thankful that our performance was almost done! Those dancers had dedication and perfection I learned from and admired dearly, and I still use them as examples in my work ethic today (in other hobbies and skills 🙂 ).
Watching this performance, by the time the Sugar Plum and Cavalier danced their pa de deux, I was teary eyed and flooded with such great memories and thankfulness for those wonderful times. I am also thankful for the opportunity to have enjoyed it this year next to my sweet hubby who let me whisper to him little memories and tidbits all throughout it! I wish they would have let me photograph during the performances, but I am also glad I got to sit back and just admire and be inspired by it. I highly recommend seeing the Ballet to get inspired for Christmas – I am so tickled we did!