Hold me closer, tiny dancer. – Elton John
When I was a child, my days were deemed by dance. Every week I would don the pink tights with the black leotard to sache across the dance floor while the slightly out-of-tune piano would pump arpeggios and classic tunes. Right around the most wonderful time of the year, when the Christmas tree went up, Tchaikovsky would fill my little ears. (I’ve always liked the Russian classics…) My sister and I would be sugar plum fairies dancing with the Mouse King and dreaming of our own Nutcracker.
- Eventually my ballet shoes retired and I grew up, as all little girls tend to do. So when I received the invitation to attend the Nutcracker Ballet here in Albuquerque, I could not suppress my glee!
Prepping hours in advance, the red lipstick colored my puckered lips, the little black lace dress hand selected, and I took my vintage fur out for a stroll. Special occasions call for special circumstances… even the pearls gifted by my father appeared stranded around my neck. Stepping outside, the air was 10 degrees colder than shrill, but I never felt it. Nothing could stop the smile radiating from within me.
We were seated and soon the room became black. The audience went from an uproar to a faint murmur. Holding my breath, I felt the goosebumps line my arms. The faint light from the conductor’s podium became a beacon for the crowd and all eyes were watching, waiting. The orchestra tuned to each other and with a nod, the room fell silent again.
With the raising of his arms, the curtains emulated and the warm yellow gels filled the stage.
There I sat, transfixed on the beauty set before me. Giant leaps, vivid costumes, itty-bitty dancers on pointe for an eternity… I was in a magical fairyland where art and dance pulled my heart strings with violin strings. Gorgeous ballerinas were lifted to the heavens by men clad in animal costumes. Little girls beamed with joy as the children dancing in their first production.
Before I knew it, the tour-de-ballet was over.. the Chinese and Russians dancers spun their tale, the Nutcracker saved the day, and little girls everywhere determined they too would become little ballerinas.
Exiting into the night air, a quartet played Christmas classics and what happened next I’m not ashamed to admit at all. My feet began to skip (in heels) and my lungs began vibrating as I sang along. Yes, I was alone in my serenading and no, one one joined in.
Walking through Nob Hill in Albuquerque with the illuminated luminarias as the stars winked from above, I couldn’t help but realize how beautiful life is. My song continued on for blocks.
In lieu of the romantic evening watching the ballet, being under the stars, and celebrating pure magic, I decided the best thing to do would be to grab local pizza and be conventional. Eating pizza in black tie apparel is loads of fun. You should have seen the looks!
The iconic melodies continued to fill my mind long into the evening and I desperately wanted to dance around my living room for hours on end. As my eyes closed, I had visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.