There's a lot I can say about my oldest daughter's experience in the Nutcracker with the Northeast Ballet Company, and a lot I have said in the past. It is an intense, exciting, magical time every year and even though all of us Nutcracker parents seem to lose our minds at some point during the real crunch time I know I'm not alone at being sad when it is over each year.
Highlights this year included: NYC Ballet dancer Lauren Lovette handing out flowers from her own bouquet to the girls that were gathered around her (I cried, it was so sweet). Watching Leven perform as Clara for her second year and thinking, wow, that is the same goofball that still falls off her chair at our dinner table up there looking so big and grown up and beautiful (I cried then too). Watching her friend Anna perform as Clara on Sunday in the second show, remembering when she and Leven were teeny tiny Gingerbreads when they started at five years old (more crying).
The friendships these kids form over the course of their rehearsals and the shows, it's incredible to watch. It's like you are watching in real time as they make memories that you know will stay with them forever. And anything you've heard about "dance moms" being crazy doesn't apply here. This group of parent volunteers is such a family, supporting each other and supporting each other's children to help make sure everyone has a positive experience and that everyone feels part of this great big show they put on.
If you came to see the show this year, thank you, I hope you loved it even half as much as these kids love performing it for you all. And if you want to hop on the amazing, unforgettable crazy train that is Nutcracker with the Northeast Ballet Co. come to auditions next September, I will see you there.