Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A New Tradition: Dancing Through Life

Though I took ballet for a few years as a child, I never enjoyed ballet - as a dancer or an audience member - enough to justify my parents spending money on tickets to dance productions of any kind. I knew quite a few people, however, for whom attending The Nutcracker Ballet took the top spot on their list of favorite holiday traditions.

Given my past indifference toward ballet, as well as Tom and Will's preference for pretty much anything that isn't ballet, I never imagined we'd become a "Nutcracker Family". But after last weekend the possibility of us finding ourselves in those auditorium seats year and after year increased dramatically.

Will, Hallie, and I attended our community's production of The Nutcracker last year and the year before, but only because both kids had friends participating. We enjoyed watching these familiar faces, but in between those scenes Will fell asleep and I had to bribe Hallie with Skittles to stay in her seat. Oh, and we left at intermission. This year, however, my Hallie Claire saw The Nutcracker from a different vantage point: standing on stage and looking out at an audience of 2,500. She had the time of her life, and as a result, changed all of our minds about sitting through this ballet holiday season after holiday season.

As the curtain fell - both literally and figuratively - on this year's show, Hallie realized she would have to live another 365 days before taking the stage as part of The Nutracker again…and she cried. I promised her that as long as she keeps dancing, we'll keep this new tradition alive.
Ready to go!
Playing backstage with her little mice friends.
Passing the time while waiting for the show
to start (15 minutes late) with her besties.
Afterwards and at 10pm, my raccoon-eyed dancer (not even eye make-up
remover and washing her face three times could remove all that mascara,
eyeliner, and eye shadow) devoured two bowls of chili, two servings of
Fritos, a glass of lemonade, a glass of water, and a bag of Skittles while
surrounded by her bouquets of flowers and brand new nutcracker doll.

As an epilogue to this story about our new family tradition, I present to you an update on another - this one slightly older but related - holiday season tradition:
These two melt my heart.

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