By Shelley H.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to start planning for the holidays! There are a few special holiday events that have become annual traditions for my family. Around this time, I’m always checking my calendar to be sure I’ve allotted the time and gotten any tickets necessary. For me and my two young daughters, perhaps the most important holiday tradition is attending a performance of UNCSA’s The Nutcracker—it’s something we definitely never want to miss.

My eldest daughter is now six years old and 2012 marks her fourth year going to The Nutcracker. My youngest attended her first performance last year—a memorable experience for me (and her), the delight on her face melted my heart.

I love our Nutcracker tradition. I don’t really begin to get into the holiday spirit until we attend a performance of this magical ballet. Being with my daughters as they laugh at the baby mice and watch in awe as the Snowflakes dance across the stage is something I will always cherish. My oldest daughter attends dance classes and although I have no idea how long she will pursue dance, I know watching the UNCSA dancers inspires her.

One of the great things about The Nutcracker is that it has something for all ages—I enjoy the whole experience as much as my kids. My daughters and god daughter are mesmerized by Mother Ginger and her children, the baby mice, the Christmas tree, as well as the magical dancing. And I am reminded each year that right here in Winston-Salem, we get to see top quality dancing, excellent live music performed by a full orchestra and beautiful sets and costumes all created by faculty and students at UNCSA. I get to see dance at the highest level without leaving town!

The Nutcracker runs from December 8 through 16 at the Stevens Center in downtown Winston-Salem. For more information visit the UNCSA Nutcracker web page. You can get your tickets at the website or you can call 336-721-1945.

Sponsored by UNCSA