Light Up The Holidays With The Nutcracker Ballet {Giveaway}

Last year was the first year that I was able to share my annual holiday tradition of seeing the Nutcracker ballet with my daughter, and it was a memorable mother-daughter experience that we will never forget. It was the first time that my little ballerina was able to watch professional dancers perform the Christmas-themed ballet on stage, and she watched the entire performance wide-eyed – completely in awe of the magic that unfolded on the stage before her.

This year I can’t wait to surprise her again with tickets to the Nutcracker (presented by Ballet BC), this time performed by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet – one of the most prestigious dance companies in the country.

“We excitedly present this ballet each year as it ties our past to our future. With Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, we are very happy that Vancouver is part of our exciting touring season and that we are working with Ballet BC.”

– André Lewis, Artistic Director of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Nutcracker

Photo by Vince Pahkala

Sprinkled with a few Canadian-themed surprises, this rendition of the Christmas classic promises to surprise and intrigue even the most knowledgeable of ballet connoisseurs, and the sparkling tutus, magical characters, and life-like set decor (snow falling from the sky – a childhood favourite scene) make the Nutcracker an unforgettable experience for the whole family to savour.

Not only is the Nutcracker the can’t-miss event of the holiday season, but it supports young artists across Canada who aspire to pursue a career in dance.

“Casting over 70 talented, aspiring young dancers from close to 20 dance schools across the Lower Mainland, this gives us a chance to support the local dance community. This marks the first opportunity for these young dancers to perform with a professional ballet company. We are excited to provide this experience to so many young artists.”

– Emily Molnar, Artistic Director of Ballet BC

Nutcracker

Photo by Vince Pahkala

Share this magical ballet adventure with your family and treat them to an evening they won’t forget.

In true Christmas spirit, I offer the gift of dance through a giveaway for Bits of Bee readers! Enter below for a chance to WIN a pair of tickets to this year’s unforgettable performance of the Nutcracker ballet.

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NUTCRACKER

Choreography: Galina Yordanova & Nina Menon
Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE
DECEMBER 12 – 14, 2014 • Performances at 7:30 pm
DECEMBER 13 – 14, 2014 • Performances at 2:00pm

BUY TICKETS

 

Holiday Traditions: The Nutcracker (Giveaway)

I remember going to my very first professional production of The Nutcracker when I was 6 years old. I had been dancing for 3 years by then, and dreamed of one day dancing the lead role of Clara in the beautiful holiday classic. I wore a poofy party dress over a crinoline, shiny black shoes, and a long petticoat, and my hair was curled in ringlets that twirled down my back. It had been a dream of my mother’s to take her little girl to The Nutcracker, and now, many years later, I will be living out the same dream with my own 6-year-old little girl.

Since my first time, I’ve been to The Nutcracker over 20 times – each performance equally as magical and memorable as the last. It has become a mother-daughter tradition, and a special holiday treat that I look forward to each year. For the last 3 years my daughter has performed in her dance school’s production of The Nutcracker, but this year, she will have the opportunity to experience the  famous Christmas ballet as a spectator, performed by professional ballerinas from the renowned Alberta Ballet.

Ballet BC - Alberta Ballet The Nutcracker

Photo by Darren Makoivichuk

With a million dollar selection of stunning set and costume designs by Emmy award winning designer Zack Brown, and choreography by Edmund Stripe, I know this year’s production will not disappoint. Not only will the performance be visually pleasing, but the dancers will be accompanied by musical scores performed live by the enchanting Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Ballet BC - Alberta Ballet The Nutcracker

Photo by Darren Makoivichuk

My daughter has always loved dance, but I know her eyes will widen in awe when she sees the talented professional dancers of Alberta Ballet as they pirouette and arabesque en pointe across the stage before her eyes. I am so excited for my mother-daughter night, and hope that this will be the start of our own holiday tradition that will carry on for years to come.

WIN TICKETS TO THE NUTCRACKER!

In true holiday spirit, I’m happy to announce that I will be giving away a pair of tickets to the magical production of The Nutcracker to one of my readers, valued at $200! Enter below for your chance to win!

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Ballet BC Presents Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker

QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE
Vancouver, BC

Performances:
December 28/29/30 • 7:30pm
December 29/31 • 2pm

Family packs and child prices available.

Buy Tickets

Back To The Barre: Adult Ballet Classes

I’m embarrassed to admit that while I loved barre fitness, and was convinced that I had finally found a fitness regime that worked for me, it’s been almost a year since my last class. I really did enjoy it, but something was missing for me.

This Summer, I decided to give my daughter the independence to choose her own extracurricular activity, and she opted to replace her ballet dancing with tap classes. I was proud of her for deciding to try something new, but a part of me felt disappointed. That is, until I realized that my desire for her to stick with ballet, was because I had never really lost my passion for the art. I realized that I was trying to live vicariously through my daughter’s dancing adventures – that I was being selfish.

Growing up, dancing was my life. From ages 3-16, I was immersed in the culture of dance. Engaged in ballet, jazz, and tap classes for over 10 hours a week, I was fully committed to my dreams of becoming a professional dancer. I danced in a professional dance company, and my performing even led to my meeting Princess Diana.

But life happened. My passion for dance was dimmed by my desire to fit in with the high school crowd, and my commitment to the art form was replaced by my commitment to friends, parties, and boys.

Back to the Barre

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This month, as I escorted my daughter to her first tap class, a sign on the wall of the dance school’s office caught my eye. They were offering adult ballet classes in the evenings. My heart raced with excitement as I immediately registered myself, nervous that my fear would prevent me from committing if I waited even a minute to register.

My first class was a breath of fresh air. My experiences with ballet classes in the past had included strict dance instructors, leotards and pink tights. Slicked buns and quiet classical piano music.

This class was filled with moms of all ages, wearing yoga pants and loose-fitting t-shirts. Some, like me, were rediscovering their passion for dance after years without training. Others had never before danced, and were there to try something new. There was no judging, no competition, just a group of women, looking to get some exercise, rediscover their love for dance, and connect.

The class started with some warm-up exercises at the barre, followed by some floor work, and short choreographed sequences. It was the perfect mix of exercise and fun, and I will definitely be sticking to it.

For those of you who are interested in trying out ballet, either for the first time, or to reclaim your love for dance. Here are my top 5 reasons to give it a try.

5 Reasons to Take Adult Ballet Classes

1) Natalie Portman’s Black Swan Ballet Workout.  Hello beautiful long and lean body transformation. While some of you may prefer to bulk up and enhance your muscles with high-impact workouts, ballet will give you a long and lean physique.

2) Reclaim your self confidence. While it can be intimidating at first, learning dance sequences and performing them in front of your dance class peers will renew your self-confidence.

3) Stand tall. When I was a dancer, I was constantly complimented on my posture. I walked with my shoulders back and my head held high. Since having had children (nursing crouch), and over a decade of desk-hunching office work, my posture now rivals that of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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4) Buns and thighs of steel. Nothing strengthens the muscles in your butt, thighs and abs like a series of grand pliés and relevés. It’s a full body workout like no other!

5) Get your groove back. Ballet teaches you rhythm, and challenges your mind through the memorization and duplication of dance sequences.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think!