Friday, December 15, 2023

Sold Out Spectacular

As I reflect on a year of planning, months of weekly rehearsals, a week of theater preparation and tech rehearsals, one dress rehearsal, and three shows...I'm tired. 

I'm also proud. Proud of our dancers for their hard work and perseverance. Proud of our volunteers for their hard work and "can do" attitude. Proud of our leadership team for showing up day after day to get the job done. Proud of the community partnerships we developed and friends we made along the way. Proud that we filled - COMPLETELY FILLED - a massive auditorium with ballet-, theatre-, and arts-loving patrons THREE times. And proud we brought to the stage a truly magnificent production for our patrons to enjoy this holiday season.

I didn't expect to become a dance mom, and I never could have imagined myself on the board of a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of young people through the art of ballet and sharing quality classical ballet with the community...and yet, here I am in both roles. Thanks to my dancing girl for making the dreams I didn't know I had come true.


Outreach events help us kick off Nutcracker "season," and Hallie had a great time performing her casted roles and her understudy role at a few of these abbreviated performances.

That's her on the right as the soldier doll.


Theater week included SO much work...and all of it was worth it.

Deliriously loading or one knows.

Trying to figure out the length of this banner.


One of my favorite moments throughout the week came on "show eve." The snow scene is rehearsed at the end of Act I tech rehearsal, fairly late at night when the rest of the dancers have gone home and the theater and building are both empty except for necessary personnel. It's during this rehearsal that these 13 dancers get to experience what it's like to dance in "snow" - many for the first time - and it's magical. I cried A LOT that week/end, including when I saw my sweet girl's expression of wonder as she twirled through the snow falling gently to the stage around her. (Shout out to the Ballet Brazos Publicity team for these photos and many of the photos throughout this post.)


For the first time, we completely sold out ALL THREE SHOWS. It was amazing.


Equally amazing was watching my girl take the stage as Snow, Waltz, and Marzipan corps. She worked her tail off and earned herself three pretty incredible roles for her first stage performances en pointe. She also got to wear a tutu for the first time (pancake tutus are earned), and the experience felt almost surreal to both of us.


Hallie and her friends...the bonds formed between dancers are strong. 💛💛💛

Ok, so Ashley Laracey isn't exactly Hallie's friend,
but she's pretty cool (she's a soloist with the NYC Ballet
and our Sugar Plum Fairy) so this pic gets to stay.

Incredibly special are these four Magic Mice...

...who grew up to become the gorgeous and incredibly talented Marzipan Corps.


Hallie and I had lots of support from our family - our boys of course came, but so did Tom's parents, Tom's sister, my parents, my sister, and Hallie's cousin, Lily. 


I couldn't write this post without acknowledging the people who supported Hallie and made it possible for her to both earn these roles and perform so beautifully on stage.

Mr. John, in addition to being Hallie ballet instructor and rehearsal
director for Nutcracker, also played Uncle Dross - hence the make up. 

Love that Ms. Suzanne - our Artistic Director - spend time with her
dancers, even when they're eating lunch on the floor of the theater. 


You were magical, Nutcracker. Until next year...

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