#tbt Nutcracker Style


Oh hark, it’s the holiday season! Ready for that ballet of ballets? The Nutcracker is the only classical dance show many will attend all year. But for those of us who grew up in the world of ballet, the Nutcracker holds an entirely different meaning.

Remember auditioning in early October and, depending on your studio’s rendition, getting cast as party girl/soldier/snowflake/angel/polichinelle/flower or all of the above? If you were the most promising young dancer at a studio, maybe you got cast as Clara. In retrospect, unless you were Gelsey Kirkland being partnered by Baryshnikov, your role in the Nutcracker had little bearing on your eventual success, or lack thereof, in the dance world. But it sure was fun to be a part of a full-on production with great music and fake snow!

This December on Stance on Dance, we’re taking #tbt to another level. (FYI, #tbt is the hashtag for throw-back Thursday, as in posting funny old photos of yourself from the 90s on Facebook.) What better way to celebrate the holidays, gain perspective on the wacky ballet world we came from, and look forward to a bright 2016 than to share some darling ol’ Nutcracker photos from some of Stance on Dance’s readers and fans.

And remember, as one crass boy said to me in sixth grade, just be glad you didn’t get cast as the nut cracker!


The unveiling of the Saks holiday display windows. Who wouldn’t go shopping with windows decked out like these ladies?


The best part of this photo isn’t the cute polichinelle’s toothy expression or the ardency of her leap, but the giant creepy shadow she cast behind her:


This risqué Minnesota production featured femme fatales instead of soldiers, with rats on roller skates. Those killer teenage legs would have scared off even the most nefarious of rat kings:


This adorable angel’s only dance move would have been the shuffle. That’s why they didn’t give her actual candles; she might have gotten so fed up shuffling about the stage she’d resort to pyrotechnics: