Ballerina Dreams

This Mom is very proud.

I had the very fortunate experience to be a back stage mom for my daughter’s annual ballet show and holiday season favorite, The Nutcracker, this past weekend. She and about 16 other 4,5 and 6-year-old little girls and a few boys performed as English Trifle, little clowns in the Land of the Sweets.

It was the most adorable thing to see these little girls, and boys, dancing their hearts out on the big stage, under the lights, with cheeks and lips and sequined costumes a-sparkling. Their two-minute debut as yellow clowns was just the most heart warming thing a parent could see. I cry at anything anyway, so throw my own kid in there and I can hardly be contained. A wet faced mess I am.

Our show incorporated everyone at my daughter’s ballet school from the 4 year olds with big ballerina dreams to the  hardworking and talented graduating seniors who performed the prima ballerina roles of Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, Dew Drop Fairy and others to some male guest dancers who filled in the parts of Cavalier and the Nutcracker Prince.

In a word: spectacular.

I had never seen The Nutcracker until two years ago. (Actually, I had never been to the ballet. I know, so deprived!!) I didn’t know what it was about. Sure, I had seen the little guy who, when you pull the lever his mouth opens and closes to crack a nut, but since I didn’t know the story, it was just some other little Christmas decoration.

But two years ago, when my then 3-year-old joined ballet, I decided to take her since she would be in the show if she continued with ballet.

And I was hooked. On it all.

I mean talk about festive. All those costumes! The glitter, the tiaras! The pointed toes and pas de deux and the leaps and toe shoes, the stage make up, the romance! The pure magic of it all. It was awesome.

We have been Nutcrackers since. Okay, so just two years, but hey, we’re in. Lifers I think.

It’s just too beautiful to pass up. Pricey, yes, but I want my daughter to have this experience, of being on stage, being a part of something so sweet and wonderful. What a great tradition.

This year when she asked if I could be back stage mom for her group I was more than happy to oblige. I thought it would be a great memory for us both to have.And it was. She liked having me there. For her age group, backstage mom is a bit of babysitting, many bathroom breaks and a lot of “sshhhing” as the 16 kiddos sat in the theater watching the first act. And then lining them up on getting them ready to go on.

There was no drama off stage. No toddlers in tiaras moments at all. Just a cute group of kids dressed in yellow costumes hanging on to their partner’s hands as tight as they could dreaming of that one day when they too would be in pointe shoes dancing with their Nutcracker prince.

I really wouldn’t trade it. It was sweet to see the little ones in awe of the bigger girls on stage. Their mouths agape in the wonder of the magic of Drosselmeyer, the sparkling movements of the toy soldiers in the mouse fight scene, the snow as it falls during the dance of the snowflakes. And watching them seeing their dance teacher all dressed in her costume for the first time, they clamored to be the first one to hug her. It was just so sweet. I wonder after all these years, more than 20 for the dance teacher, if it’s still as sweet to her as it was for me to watch.

Well, after a weekend of craziness getting to and from dress rehearsals and the show, The Nutcracker is over. Makes me a little sad, in a crazy I can’t believe this makes me sad kind of way. Perhaps it’s the festivity of it all, the hectic pace and running around involved. Whatever it was, it was a lot of fun. Tis the season.

Here’s looking toward next year.

And speaking of next year, my son wants in, too. I think he might have the bug. You know the one that involves a big stage, bright lights, costumes, dancing, applause and a really cool picture in the show’s playbill.

We’ll revisit that one in the fall.

For all of you who can swing it, seeing a Nutcracker performance would be an awesome way to kick of the season.

It was for us.

Now onto cookie baking, shopping, wrapping and visiting. Oh yeah, and hoping my husband doesn’t find out how much I really spent on Christmas.



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