Growing up, the Nutcracker was a huge part of my life. I remember the annual fall auditions that took place at Gibbs High School every year. The excitement and anxiousness that came along with dancing in front of a panel of judges and then the anticipation of waiting for the cast list to be posted on the studio door, was what made it all so exciting. Of course, the chill in the air during that time of the year as Christmas approached and the many all-day weekend rehearsals with my friends, are some of my favorite memories. Me and my friends would pack lunches, rehearse our parts, watch the sugar plum fairy rehearse her part (and secretly dream of that role someday), and hang out on the side lines exchanging back massages and having fun. They were great times, and we made many great memories together that I’ll never forget. The best part of it all came on performance day. As I waited backstage for my part to come, my excitement and nervousness grew. Then I’d hit the stage with a surge of adrenaline, wondering where my family and friends were in the audience. I loved every second of the performance. I loved every second afterwards too, when my family would greet me in the lobby with flowers, cards and a Nutcracker doll. I collected many Nutcrackers over the years, and now they’re displayed on a shelf in the house every Christmas season.
This will be Sophie’s 2nd Nutcracker, and I watch the love and excitement she has for it, just like I did. This year she got the role of soldier in the Nutcracker. She was the one that was killed in the battle scene and she wasn’t very happy about that, because that meant her dancing time on stage was cut in half. Saturday the 17th was the big day, and after I dropped her off at the theater for the show, one of the mom’s approached me and said, “Sophie is so sweet.” I thanked her, and then she proceeded to say, “In rehearsal a few weeks ago, they decided upon the soldier that would be killed in the battle scene. The little girl they chose was very upset, and didn’t want to be the one that was killed. Then Sophie jumped in and said, I’ll do it for her.” That’s our Sophie. She’s always thinking of others, and although she was not thrilled about her short role as a soldier, she selflessly took it for someone else. I’m so proud of you Sophia!
It was a busy day for her. She was the theater at noon for a 2pm show, and then had a short dinner break before the 7:30pm show.
Every year we attend the SH Main Street Christmas Parade downtown. It’s a tradition we love. Doug , Sara and I walked down together, and enjoyed time with neighbors and friends. It wasn’t the same without Soph, but she had to be at the theater prior to the parade. The weather was in the high 70’s* with a slight breeze. It was a great time and brought us even deeper into the holiday season.
The Nutcracker show began at 7:30 pm at Ruth Eckerd Hall.
My parents, Dario and Melissa came to support as well. I loved every second of the performance, and it brought back so many great memories as well as excitement for Christmas week. There’s nothing like nostalgia. Everyone on stage did an amazing job!
After the show, Sophie was gifted with flowers and candy before the photo shoot began. Then we headed to ice cream downtown for a little celebration.
Great performance Soph! I’m so proud of you and I love you so much!!