I never thought a ballet would change my life – but it did. Several years ago, I was looking for an opportunity to start a family holiday tradition and the Milwaukee Ballet’s The Nutcracker was the perfect choice! We made it a special “Girls Day Out” with my daughter Abby, then 3, Grandma Tera and myself. Like all little girls, she was excited to dress up, eat at a fancy restaurant and see the big girls dance. She absolutely loved it – especially the youngest ballerinas, the Angels! Abby promptly declared that she wanted to be an Angel when she “grew up.” Not entirely convinced she really understood the requirements to be in a professional ballet, we discussed how it would take lots of hard work, practice and dedication to become an angel; and even if you do all of that, they might not have enough costumes for everyone to be an angel.
After some research (and pleading), we enrolled in the Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy. Abby’s first mission was to find out what it took to be an Angel in The Nutcracker. One must be at least seven years old and in Ballet One. She was on a mission and ready to work towards her multiple year plan! Along the way, we discovered the Annual Nutcracker Tea. What an amazing event! It was one more opportunity for us to build another “Girls Day Out,” start another family tradition, and create some wonderful memories. At the Nutcracker Tea, you have the opportunity to meet some of the performers, get a Ballet dancer make-over, create some crafts and personally learn some dance steps from the cast. It was hard to choose which activity was her favorite! My favorite part was watching the serious look on her face and how hard she concentrated as she followed along with the cast members dance steps.
Over the years, we have looked forward to annually attending the Nutcracker Tea and Ballet with Abby, Grandma Tera and myself. This year, we are adding our youngest cousin, Neva (3), and her mother, Colleen, in the family tradition. My goal of creating a memorable family tradition has been accomplished. From a three-year-old who declared her passion to dance and be on stage, Abby has also accomplished her mission. This year, she tried out and was lucky enough to be selected as an Angel in The Nutcracker. It will provide many new and more amazing memories for our family at our annual Nutcracker Tea and Ballet outing. I can’t wait to see the ballet from backstage! We hope you will join us and continue or even start a new family tradition. Who knows – it may even change your life too!
Melissa (and Abby) Moyer
Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy Family