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Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Private Nutcracker

I went to my dance school's Nutcracker on Saturday. They did a very terrific job. I've watched a couple of the 11-year-olds at the studio since they were 7 and measured 23-23-23. Now their legs are growing long and their tummies suck in instead of pouching out. When there's a school holiday, they drop in to the adult classes, not in their baby blue uniform leotards but in bright red or sophisticated black with daring low or keyhole backs. Their dancing has grown so strong, deliberate and graceful.  It was a joy to watch them.

Almost, but not quite, as joyful as the Nutcracker that was danced in my own house. I played the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker (my very, very favorite) for Alan and Suzannah, and halfway through, they jumped up and danced. Alan concentrated hard on his plie's, turning out his dimpled knees, costumed only in Spiderman underware. Suzannah was draped in one of my T-shirts (she forgot to pack her pamamas), her arms floating in beautiful, extended port de bras. She swayed and turned and then knelt on one knee and extended her hand to Alan. He graciously accepted it, and they twirled and jumped and laughed. That was a Nutcracker to remember!

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