Saturday, December 10, 2011


I don't think I've seen The Nutcracker since I was a little girl. I probably would have missed it this year if I hadn't got an email from a parent of one of my students. Her daughter Bryanna would be missing school on Thursday and Friday because she had a lead in The Nutcracker.

The first writing assignment I have my seniors do is their college admissions essay. Not only is this the most important essay many of them will write in their senior year, but because of it I also get to know my seniors really well really quickly. Bryanna wrote about dancing. She wrote about training with the Atlanta Ballet and how she was on the path to become a professional dancer. Then the pain started and increased. She could barely walk. She couldn't sit the length of a class. She certainly couldn't dance. In November of last year she had hip surgery. Serious, major hip surgery. Her mom calls her hip "bionic." The doctors told Bryanna she'd never dance again. In her essay she wrote about how she was going to prove them wrong.

(Image from Jackie Rueda via Flicker)

And so she did. I watched her dance this afternoon. Among other parts she played the Lead Angel. It was a stunning scene. It was entirely en pointe. I looked that term up. Dancing en pointe requires strength of legs and feet. It requires great strength, balance and agility. It requires strong hips, among other things.

Bryanna's mom said that for dancers the Christmas season stops being the Christmas season. It is Nutcracker season. When she said it I knew that this time she was so very happy that this Christmas is Nutcracker season Bryanna.

What season is it for you, dear readers?

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