The Children’s Ballet in Danville offers productions of The Nutcracker each year. This year, their production of this beloved Christmas play will take place on December 16 and 18, 2022, at Danville High School. This family-friendly play is a great way for children to experience The Nutcracker, and it’s another great way to embrace the traditions of the holidays.
The Nutcracker is a Great Play for Kids
Almost everyone, including kids, has heard the “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies,” even though they may not know it until they hear it.
In The Nutcracker, viewers can follow Clara, as she sneaks back to the Christmas tree in the middle of the night, shrinks to toy size and watches a battle between an army of mice and toy, tin soldiers. Her favorite character, the Nutcracker, eventually turns into a prince and the two waltz through the Land of Sweets.
We won’t give away the end, but through a child’s eyes, the storyline is fairly easy to follow.
How to Prepare for the Ballet
Sometimes, getting children to sit still for a play can be a challenge, even if they are looking forward to seeing the play! To get your child ready for a performance of The Nutcracker, here are some easy ways to spark the magic.
- Check your local bookstore or library for The Nutcracker books. Play the song “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies” to be sure they’ve heard it and remember it. Spark their interest ahead of time.
- Plan everything in advance. Arrive early for time to go to the restroom, check out the foyer and photo opportunities, and choose a seat near the exit if you’re concerned the first trip to the ballet may not be successful.
- Teach children the etiquette of the theater. Most of the time, children watch adults for the proper behavior, but it wouldn’t hurt to remind them that we don’t speak or if we must, just in a whisper. And that electronics, like cellphones or toys, are turned off before the performance.
- Remind young children there is a break, or intermission in the middle. That’s their cue to get all the wiggles out, stop by the restroom one more time, and grab a snack and drink before returning for the second act.
The History of The Children’s Ballet in Danville
The Children’s Ballet is celebrating 35 years in 2022, and former owner and instructor Deni Jacks had a different goal than many dance companies in the area. She wanted to teach basic principles, like exposing children to classical music and learning how the story is told through the music.
Today, the ballet studio is owned by two former students, executive director Anne Johansson and artistic director Emily Miser. The two continue with Jacks’ legacy.
Johansson said for many children who have “not found their tribe,” they find it in ballet class. They are learning collaboration, time management, creativity and it’s all evident on the stage.
The Children’s Ballet will perform The Nutcracker on December 16 and 18, 2022, at Danville High School. Tickets are on sale now and can be found at thechildrensballet.com.