Nutcracker Theater Week

As I sit here at Robinson watching the Bon Bon’s rehearse, I can’t help but reflect on how special Nutcracker is to so many people. Nutcracker was my introduction to the amazing world of ballet. 22 years ago I was in the same place these children are today. The excitement that I see in all of their faces looking out into a big beautiful house and around at the drops is truly a reminder that this ballet has been a huge part of my life.

So many of my greatest memories take place on stage or in the theater during Nutcracker production week. Nutcracker was the reason I began dancing in the first place. Now as an adult, it’s easy to get disenchanted with Nutcracker in the grind and stress of it all. We forget it is a magical part of so many peoples holidays. Growing up Nutcracker was huge part of my family’s holiday’s. My sister and I were both in the show and even once they were brave enough to have us dance together. My family always volunteered to help backstage. I’ve grown up in these wings. It’s amazing to sit here and watch now as the mice and soldiers line up for the first time. For some, this will be some of their first time on a stage in a theater this size. It’s great to be a part of the magic.

I sit here and think back to so many stages of my life. From grade school through college and now as a professional, Nutcracker has been a constant through it all. The music will forever be burnt into my brain, the steps will always come out of my feet and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Toby Lewellen Ballet Arkansas Dancer

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Professional Ballet Company of the State of Arkansas SM