Kent Stowell's snow scene for Pacific Northwest Ballet (by Angela Sterling, courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet)
Nutcracker season is upon us, guys, and the time has come for never-ending rehearsals and like 10 shows a day. So sure, there's a lot of emphasis on all the negative aspects of performing in the show and how to survive this nutty season, but let's be real: There's also a ton of REALLY fun things about this holiday classic. Like getting to dance in the most dreamy costumes you can imagine. Here are the 7 absolute best parts of dancing in a production of The Nutcracker.
You Get to Spend So Much Time with Your Friends
Sure, the rehearsals are long, but you get to spend those hours with your closet ballet BFFs.
It Puts You in the Winter Spirit
We fa-la-la-la-love those winter feels.
The Costumes are Magical
You can't help but feel like you're in a dream when you slip into those stunning costumes.
It Pushes You to Be Better
Being in The Nutcracker is such a great learning experience. It truly challenges you to be the best you can be and to give your all, no matter how exhausted you are.
You Get to Be Immersed in the Beautiful Music
All of the music is extraordinary, but listening to the music of the Grand Pas de Deux always gives us chills.
You Get to Play a Variety of Roles
The great thing about doing The Nutcracker for more than just one year is that you eventually get to play so many different roles. One year you're the Sugar Plum Fairy and the next you're the Snow Queen!
You Get to Be a Part of a Classic Dance Tradition
At the end of the day, being in The Nutcracker means taking part in a long tradition of gorgeous dance that we celebrate every year. Plus, it's a dancer milestone: Almost every professional out there will tell you they performed in the show as a student. Tbh, that makes all the hard work worth it.
In our "Dear Katie" series, MCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I'm 14 and have been studying ballet seriously for about three years. Even though I feel ready,my teachers haven't put me on pointe yet. Am I doing something wrong? Should I ask them about it, or is it pointe-less?
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Samantha Figgins (Andrew Eccles)
Samantha Figgins is currently in her fifth season with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (and was a Dance Spirit cover girl back in 2013!). But what many people don't know is that the gorgeous dancer suffers from single-sided deafness. As a baby, Figgins contracted spinal meningitis, which caused her to lose all hearing in her right ear. She never gave up on her dance dreams, though, and fought her way through uncomfortable situations, never missing an opportunity to learn and grow. Now, after getting her first pair of hearing aids, she opens up about her path to success. —(As told to Courtney Celeste Spears)
Sara Esty as Maggie in "A Chorus Line" (courtesy Esty)
Sara Esty's ethereal grace and sophisticated charm have won over ballet and Broadway audiences alike. The bunhead-turned-Broadway-baby began training near her hometown in Gorham, ME, at the Maine State Ballet's School for the Performing Arts (with her equally fabulous twin sister, Leigh-Ann). She enrolled full-time at the Miami City Ballet School in 2004, and joined Miami City Ballet as an apprentice in 2005. In 2006, Esty won the Princess Grace Award, and she was promoted to soloist at MCB in 2011. After leaving MCB in 2014, she made her Broadway debut in An American in Parisas the understudy for Lise, and went on to share the role of Lise with her sister on the show's national tour. Most recently, she was seen in 5th Avenue Theatre's production of Marie, Dancing Stillin Seattle, WA. —Courtney Bowers