Culture, Daily Life

Kansas City Ballet: The Nutcracker In a Nutshell

The photos on this post are not my own.

There are many things I love about my membership with the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri but, today, I want to focus on just one of those: the incredible training opportunities. I joined JLKC two years ago after hearing about it from a friend. Knowing that I’m part of an organization dedicated to improving the lives of the community around me means so much. The added benefit of personal development through activities and events that are included in my membership is equally as incredible. Needless to say, I love being a part of this incredible group of women. The first year I was in the League, I attended a Farmer’s Market event where we took a tour with a local chef and learned about the market and the difference it makes in the community. Last year I was able to attend a “Heart Smart” event where we learned about cardiovascular risks for women, healthy eating, and how to make heart healthy meals (which we got to take home afterwards). This year I wanted to do something a little different and so last night I had the opportunity to attend an event at the Kansas City Ballet that gave us an inside scoop into how they prepare for their largest event each year: The Nutcracker.

The only time I’ve ever actually seen the Kansas City Ballet perform a show was when I was a little girl. My grandmother has lived on the Kansas side of the metro for several decades and so I have fond memories of visiting her as a child. The familiarity I had with the area played a large role in why the husband and I moved here after college. I remember how beautiful the Nutcracker was when I went as a child and how captivating the show was. I think that’s part of why I loved the training event as much as I did last night. We learned that the Kansas City Ballet employs just under 30 professional dancers and incorporates the aspiring dancers who attend classes with the Ballet for the 22+ performances of the Nutcracker they do each year. With a cast of nearly 200, there is a lot of opportunity for children and young adults to be a part of it. We had a behind the scenes look at their set design, costumes (I have no idea how people fit into some of them), and everything else that goes into putting on a show for the public.

After that portion of our training was complete, we had the opportunity to sit in on a live rehearsal. They were in the process working to acclimate the younger (not professional) dancers with the members of the Kansas City Ballet and it was really interesting to see the process take place.  I had some time after the event on my way home to reflect on my evening. Dancing was always something I wanted to do when I was a child but it was never something that was presented as an option. It’s something I would like for C to try as she grows up. Seeing how dedicated these dancers and how hard they work to perfect their performance for the community really is inspiring. What kinds of art inspire you?

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