Friday, December 7, 2012

The Nutcracker Sweet

Although I may not resemble one now, there was a time in my life when I was a ballerina. I know. Really and truly. And, though running has completely co-opted my physical activity allotment now (as well as any turn-out I once had), I do still hold a very dear spot in my heart for my dancing days. And, nothing brings those memories flooding back like Christmastime and The Nutcracker Ballet.

See, I performed in The Nutcracker Ballet for the Dance Theater of Fayetteville for something like five years straight. I cannot hear the opening strains of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite without pointing my toes or fighting the urge to whip out a couple tour jetes across the kitchen floor.

So, you can imagine how excited I have been to share my love for this ballet with Molly and Charlotte. The problem was, I wasn't sure how well they would be able to handle sitting through an entire 2-hour performance. I knew I would be entranced by the beauty and dancing, but a 2- and 5-year-old? No guarantees that would turn out well.

Then, I came across this ad for a Nutcracker Ballet Tea Party thrown by the Arts and Recreation Foundation of Overland Park and Friends of Overland Park Arts. It was a shortened version of the ballet, performed by ballet students, aimed at children, and complete with an actual tea party. Problem solved!

The girls love playing tea party, and I could test out how they would do with a shortened performance. I convinced a couple other moms of girls that they should do it too, so we filled up a table in no time.

I have never been so proud of how well-behaved my girls acted. I'm not going to pretend that they are angels, and regular readers know that isn't the case, but on this day, they were fabulous. We got all dressed up for the big event. It was an excuse to wear their holiday dresses another time. The ballroom was beautifully decorated, and the girls sat in their seats and couldn't get over the excitement of it all. I'm pretty sure both my girls ate about four cookies a piece, but since it was a special occasion, I didn't worry about it.

Melese, Avery and Molly checking out the spread.

Of course, Charlotte's mouth if full of cookie.
When Molly heard that it was a tea party, she wanted to bring her Molly American Girl doll, because that's what she's used to with tea parties. I didn't see the harm, so she brought her doll and Charlotte brought a baby doll. It was quite adorable and sweet, really.

I warned the other moms that Molly was going to be bringing her doll, in case the other girls wanted to bring theirs.

For the first hour, everyone ate and sat while the ballerinas (in costume) walked around, talked to the kids and took pictures with them. My girls were in awe over the beautiful ballerinas, so we took advantage and took several pictures.
Molly, Melese, Sydney and Charlotte with some of the dancers from the Flute dance.
Yes, Charlotte and Ella have matching dresses.  Funny thing: the dresses are both 3T and Charlotte is 6 weeks younger than Ella. My baby girl is a giant.
All three girls in matching dresses. Yes, they were on sale at Old Navy.

Molly and Charlotte with some of the Waltz of the Flowers dancers. (FYI - this was one dance I did every year when I was in the ballet, so I especially wanted them to pose with these girls.)

Molly hugging a sheep. You also have to check out Molly's hair. I have never received so many compliments as I did for Molly's hair do. And, yes, I did it. For a girl who just learned how to french braid last year, I was quite proud.
The ballroom even had a giant Christmas tree in the lobby, so we took the girls out for a little photo shoot.

The girls all received Nutcracker ornaments, and Charlotte thought she had to put it on the lobby tree.
Charlotte, Melese, Molly and Avery with their Nutcracker ornaments.
After the mingling and eating was through, it was time for the show. The organizers had set up an area at the very front so kids could come up and sit on the floor and see the show. Our table was close enough that the girls could've seen, but Molly and Charlotte went up there anyway. I'm kind of bummed about that, only because I didn't get to see their faces as they watched the ballet, but they stayed up there the entire time.

I'm telling you, they were so incredibly well-behaved, I almost didn't know what to do with myself. They sat and were quiet and watched the entire hour-long performance. Without little ones to manage, I was transported back in time as I heard the sound of pointe shoes clacking on the floor. Ahhh ... sweet memories.

After the show, I couldn't stop praising the girls, and they couldn't stop talking about it. When I tried to explain to Molly that I had danced like that once, she kind of looked at me like I was crazy. But, when I told her I still had my old pointe shoes, she immediately wanted to try them on. (It's up to Cory to find them, though, since he's the one who stashed them in some box in the basement.)

It makes me so happy to have been able to share the Nutcracker Ballet with my little girls. I have such sweet memories from my own childhood, I just want to share with them a little of that magic. So, yes, it probably was a little selfish on my part, but a mom's allowed to be selfish every now and again, right?  I mean, it's not like I'm making them watch old videos of me dancing in the Nutcracker ... Well, actually, I probably would if only I could find them!

Oh well, we had some tea, hung out with friends and watched the beauty and magic of the Nutcracker Ballet. It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and now we three have some sweet memories of our own to share.
Me and my girls. Yes, Molly is the sassy-looking one.


  1. Ok broke out the kleenex - many many memories of many many performances with my ballerinas and danseur...

    P.S. I have those videos.... :)

  2. This blog post was brought to you by RecTeamStats.

    Amy managed to drum up a sponsor for their outing :)

  3. What wonderful memories all around..........those shared with your girls and those made with your girls!!! Not selfish in any way!!! LOVE Molly's hair!!