My friend Vincent surprised me with tickets to the Nutcracker this weekend and I loved it. This was the third time I’d seen the show but probably the first time I truly enjoyed it. To be fair, I was a kid the other times and I have never enjoyed wordless entertainment. Also, I think I appreciated it more because I too am a dancer. My mother put me in dance classes when I was five because she thought the exercise would solve the problem of my skinny legs. She was wrong, but my love of dance was born. I’ve danced in recitals and later in life in clubs. However, my appreciation of dance and dancers didn’t really come to life until I had to entertain an audience. I know what it feels like to worry about my wig being on straight or if my moves are on point. I know the exhaustion and the exhilaration of being on stage and figuring out when I can take a potty break while still in costume. There’s a lot you have to do to present perfection for an audience.
Too many times dancers don’t get credit for all they do and all they inspire. The Nutcracker has reminded me that no matter its form, dance speaks to something in my soul. To be able to express oneself with arms and legs and facial expressions is a gift that I don’t want to take for granted. And I certainly don’t want to take it for granted in other dancers. Thank you Nutcracker for bringing me so much joy. What a way to start off the holiday season!