Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ann Heckler's Nutcracker History

My first Nutcrackers were well before the days of the advanced photography techniques of the 21st century- So no photos of my days as a snowflake...

As far as this century, it has been fun to observe the growth of the dancers at the Toledo Ballet.  The little soldiers and ginger (pulcinellas then) have grown up to Company girls.  Each year,  I watch new Clara's friends (some of whom I had in class when they were little)  now dancing on pointe.  Every Nutcracker that rolls around I wonder, "Am I getting too old looking to have this little guy as a son?" But somehow I continue to land a new, younger, husband each year as a party mom.  Since my first Toledo Ballet Nutcracker in 2007, I have been impressed with our costumes - especially the ones that make angels float on air.  My most memorable year has to be 2008, the year that both my girls were in it and the year that included the Make a Wish girl following the sleigh.

A big shout of THANKS to all the volunteers behind the scene for all they contribute to making our production so beautiful!  And a thanks to the other Party Moms for keeping our party so FUN!  General Thanks to all that make The Nutcracker what it is.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Katherine Bauer's Nutcracker Memories

As the  performance of my 8th Nutcracker approaches, I look back at my other performances with fond memories. I remember being scolded for eating cheesy crackers in costume and forgetting my shoes covers, along with memories of the parts I've done. I was in the first cast of angels who were lifted off the stage. That first year, when I was seven, we actually did a small dance before being "flown". That first year, some people were baffled by how it was done, and thought that "the little kids we're connected to dangerous wires.” However, we did have the dads lift us off, and my dad actually was the one to lift me off! So, now as I watch how the angels have changed, I can remember back to when the candles were glass, and girls dropped them 1 minute before the curtain opened. And as I advance more, I will be able to look back at other fond memories of the parts I dance today. The picture is of me and my dad that year I was an angel, and my dad was an angel lifter!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kali Porteous' Countdown

13 Days and counting, until my first Nutcracker performance with the Toledo Ballet!!  Even though rehearsals have intensified I do not mind as I am filled with anticipation of the big day. Through all these rehearsals friendships have formed and wonderful memories have been made.  Yes, we are very tired during and after each rehearsal, but we still manage to smile and enjoy what we love to do... dance.
Not only am I counting down the days until our first performance, I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the professionals from Miami City Ballet!!  I know by watching them rehearse and perform I will be motivated to work on my technique and they will keep me inspired to work towards my goal of becoming a professional dancer.
I am truly blessed to be a part of the Toledo Ballet's production of the 72nd Annual Nutcracker.  I hope you enjoy this production as much as I have enjoyed being a part of it!!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gwen Clark's Nutcracker History

I have been performing in the Nutcracker for 20 + years. My first part was a mouse. In order for my mom and dad to know who I was, I had a yellow ribbon on my tail.  My first dance on Pointe was a frost fairy, I was 9.  The best thing about being a frost fairy was that we had sparkling lights in our tutus.  The battery pack was a little heavy, but it was worth it. We looked very cool and the audience loved us. My favorite parts in the Nutcracker were Snow, Flute and Flower. I have now come full circle by being a mom in the Party Scene. Experiencing Nutcracker with my friends was always the best part for me. I still have that experience 20+ years later.  I also get to enjoy the Nutcracker with my daughter Emily, who is a company member.  I could never have imagined when I was younger that I would be dancing with my daughter in the Nutcracker.  Lots of great memories, then and now make the Nutcracker special for me. 
The pictures of me are from Party Scene, Flower and Flute.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Jada Boles the Candy Cane

It was a year ago when I transferred to Toledo Ballet from eleven years of dancing at a competitive dance studio. I was excited but also very nervous about meeting all new people and auditioning for a professional production of The Nutcracker. I was worried about how everyone would welcome me or even if they would.  It turned out that I had nothing to be nervous about.

The teachers, the staff, and all the other dancers treated me like I’d been a part of the Toledo Ballet family all of my life. I was cast in the roles of Candy Cane, Big Soldier, and understudy for Harlequin and Flowers. One funny thing that I remember about Candy Cane was the up-tempo pace of jumping through the hoop and being so nervous that I would whack myself in the head. Thankfully, I never did. I remember exhaling with relief after every rehearsal and performance.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Emily Cihon's Nutcracker Learning Experience

As the show becomes nearer the anticipation of the theater grows nearer. With the theater come the principal dancers. The principal dancers are always a joy to watch. They have brilliant technique and exquisite showmanship. Last year while I was watching from the wings I noticed the huge second plié that the principals used in preparation for their pirouettes. It was the perfect description of the way Miss Lisa tells us to do them. It really helps to see professionals do the steps that we are working on to learn from them! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Charlotte Thurston: Happy to be Part of the Nutcracker!

Last year was the first year I participated in the Nutcracker, and the one thing I can say is only now do I know what I have been missing out on all of these years.  I immediately felt welcomed by the cast and the Nutcracker excitement was passed onto me.  I was nervous because almost everyone knew all of the choreography when we started the rehearsals because it was embedded into their brains from countless years of dancing and watching the various Nutcracker roles.

At first I was worried about this but after a few rehearsals I started to get the hang of things.  It was a thrill to see the dances start to come together more and more after each rehearsal, and it was amazing to watch the progress and to see the whole show come together.  I will never forget any of the memories I have from the nutcracker last year and this year.  I also met many new people that I am now great friends with.  I look forward to my many years of Nutcracker to come, and I am so happy to be a part of the Toledo Ballet Family.  I can’t wait for the performance this coming December!