I can’t believe that five years have elapsed since Siella and I started attending George Balanchine’s Nutcracker at Lincoln Center during the holiday season.
Our tradition began when Siella was just two years old spawned by that little sparkle in her eye, during toddler ballet class. I didn’t think she would make it through the entire show; but much to my dismay that matinee left her intrigued, as she sat with eyes glued to the stage the entire time. At that moment, I knew that a special interest had been sparked in this tiny human.
Through the years, my mom and my sister have joined the tradition. With my mom’s birthday falling the first week of December, tickets to The Nutcracker are a recurring birthday gift.
This year, I felt it was time to introduce Gemma to our girls club! I’ve been looking forward to this because coming off many Broadway shows with her over the last 2 years with mixed behavior, I wanted to be sure she would sit quietly through the performance! Happy to report, her behavior was impeccable, and I think experiencing at a slightly older age probably allowed her to appreciate how special of an experience it can be.
One might assume that attending this performance year after year could get redundant, but on the contrary, the show gets more magical each and every time. The classical music we all know and love, combined with the talented dancers are mind blowing; not to mention the fact that you are sitting inside the David Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center alone is overwhelming. Its been a great way to kick off the holiday season, and maybe next year we will add Jason and Ryder to the mix!
Siella has become well versed in the run of show during every performance. Once we enter the building, she immediately makes her way upstairs, to pose with the Sugar Plum Fairies, following her photo op with questions for the fairy, or a tale about one of her ballet classes. This year, she had a few friends in the show, so she excited to ask the Sugar Plum if she had come across any of them.
Apart from some Instagram posts, I don’t think I’ve shared that Siella is now practicing ballet at the American Ballet Theater! This commitment has her in class twice a week, and they work hard. Their teaching methods differ from her previous dance programs, so she needs to push herself.
I remember her walking out of her very first ABT class in tears, over how difficult it was for her. I urged her to try just one more class. Following that second session, she was all smiles; and now after almost four months there, I recently sat in on a session, and I’m beyond amazed at how much she has learned and improved in such a short amount of time. I couldn’t be more proud!
Siella is certain that one day she will be one of the dancers on that Nutcracker stage, and if she keeps up her hard work and dedication, I don’t doubt that dream could become a reality.
I love how our little tradition of two has blossomed into five, spanning three generations. It’s pure magic, and just may be my most favorite day of the year!
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