Tag Archives: tween ballerina

Farewell to the Nutcracker

nikkiikkin nutcracker farwell 1
2013 has just minutes left.  I decided to take the countdown as a challenge to get one more post in this year!
What a year it was for me and our family!  While I’ve shared a lot on instagram and Facebook I havent have a moment to post more than once about what Im spending the majority of my life doing   in December: the nutcracker and cookies.
Id like to wish a farewell to my daughters first year in the New York City Ballet Nutcracker!  She has had a blast and although it was a lot for our family to juggle, as a mother I can sort of compare it to childbirth and say (now that it’s over) it wasnt so bad to go through.
Im glad that Macy had the extra time to develop some great friendships with some really nice girls  and I’m glad that I had the extra time to chat with some really nice parents.
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Of course there were lots of cookie involved.
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I was thrilled to make Nutcracker cookies for so many people and organizations this year.  My original little guy made his way to events at the Ohio Dance Theatre and the San Francisco Ballet, as well as several other of my etsy clients.
I also made a new Nutcracker design for Joffrey Ballet School NYC for the dancers recital gifts.
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But what was most enjoyable was sharing cookies with the children’s cast at NYCB’s Nutcracker.  Macy was super proud to pass them out and when they announced that I had made one for each of the 65 kids the parents applauded me…..I covered my face in astonishment.  The children were so sweet, many of them came up to thank me, its like they really understood how much time each little cookie took me and they appreciated it.  I made a solider, angel and sugarplum fairy with the costumes as close as possible as I could get to the real deal.
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I loved taking snapshots of the life going on under the stage each night (incase you aren’t familiar the children perform about every other day for 6 weeks)  Since there is not wifi or cell service on the Lower Concourse of the David Koch theatre the children entertain themselves in traditional ways, like card games and Jacks.  Yes kids still know how to play Jacks!  They celebrate birthdays, give secret santa gifts and squeeze in homework.  Parents read the newspaper, address their christmas cards and occasionally share a bottle of wine.
I thought a collage was best way to share all of those backstage shots, for my readers and for Macy its sort of a keepsake.  One of the snapshots of Macy made it as our Christmas card, sometimes those are the best!
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I hope all of my other ballet moms had unforgettable holiday performances and I look forward to continuing to share and chat with you all next year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
XOXO, NIKKI
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A Day of Ballet Class for Macy & Some Exciting News

nikkiikkin a day of ballet Our family’s schedule dramatically changed when Macy started attending classes at School of American Ballet last September.  It wasn’t a hard decision to accept her invitation to dance there, but we knew that we would also have to accept that ballet rules our life right now.  We are so proud of her and her diligent attitude in her dance studies.  She has come up leaps and bounds in her strength and ballet education since she started.  With only a handful of absences and almost zero complaining, this has been her life 4 days a week.  3 of which are right after a long day at school.  Our time everyday at SAB is more than just waiting the 90 minutes while she is in dance class, we have much more time invested in it than that.  I wanted to share our family’s nearly daily journey and the logistics it takes for Macy have this amazing experience.

MACY’S DAY AT BALLET

We made a decision early on that it was a waste of time for us to pick Macy up from school, walk home, wait 45 min and then walk back to the train.  So we leave straight from school pick up and get to SAB earlier than needed.

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It takes 3 trains for us to get to Lincoln Center.  Its not really a big deal, when you live in NYC, transferring trains is a just how its done.  Sometimes you get lucky and there’s no wait for the next train to arrive and sometimes the train runs late and you have a long wait.  Its sort of the way traffic is everywhere else, its out of your control and you have to be patient. On the plus side you have time to read a book while you travel, in Macy’s case she has 45 minutes to work on homework.  She usually uses the time to do her reading but sometimes she gets distracted.  Especially if a 6 foot tall transvestite with purple hair and giant boots is making a scene on the train.  Would anyone be able to pay attention with that going on?

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We dont always take the last leg of train, sometimes we walk from 59th street to 66th street.  It’s not much difference in waiting for the 1 train and making the 7 block walk.  I often use the extra time we give ourselves to run an errand at the Shops at Columbus circle, printing at Kinkos or to mail a package.

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There is always something going on at Lincoln Center.  We stumble upon events ranging from the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera, to movie premieres (we saw Leonardo DiCaprio and other celebs at the Great Gatsby premier last week) just going about on our day of ballet.  The area of Lincoln Center for Performing Arts is made up of several world renown organizations.  The New York City Ballet, Metropolitan Opera, The Julliard School, New York Philharmonic, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts  and School of American Ballet to name just a few.  Last fall a sky walk crossing over 65th street opened to connect the buildings holding Julliard and SAB to the main Lincoln Center buildings.  Which makes it easier for me to stroll Hudson over to the plazas where a fountain, a reflection pool and grassy lawn are, if the weather is good we often walk over to enjoy their beauty.

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At our earliest arrival to SAB we have about 30 minutes before we can order from the dinner counters at the Julliard & SAB Cafe.  We LOVE the cafe!  I honestly dont think I could handle all of the hours and days we have to spend doing this if I didnt have the cafe to eat and wait in.    Serving  just Julliard and SAB students, staff and families, it has a  grill, hot entree counter, soup and salad bars and sandwich counter, several drinks and luckily brews Starbucks coffee.   We spend a lot of time there and see many interesting performing arts students.  It really is the heart of these two performing arts schools, as students are not just eating there between classes before they go home.  Both SAB and Julliard have resident students that depend on it for meals that are healthly and full of variety.  We on the other hand eat mostly pizza, Hudson does at least.  Macy likes to eat salad and yogurt and I enjoy the fact that its affordable and I don’t have to cook dinner on ballet nights.

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The Cafe is located on the lobby level of the Rose Building, SAB is on the 5th floor.  Unfortunately the school has very strict rules about photography on the 5th floor.  Parents are not allowed to stay on the 5th floor while their child is in class, which is a new rule this year.  There is actually several seating areas with big comfy sofas up there, its a shame really that we can’t enjoy it during class time anymore.  We are also not allowed to observe classes, but twice a year there is a Parents Observation week.

Before each class, I get 20 minutes to help her get ready, not that it takes that long.  Some days she has a morning shower and we do her bun in the morning.  On those days her bun is high and more classic looking.  On dry hair days we do a low bun with a side part just before class.  Macy is getting good at doing the bun herself now, she likes to use a bun form to get a big showy bun, but in general she has pretty silky hair that goes into a bun easily without too many fly aways.

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And here she is ready to go to class!

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After class, if we are lucky and Macy isnt socializing too much she can be dressed and ready to go in 10 minutes.  We don’t usually run any errands after ballet, we have about an hour commute and are just ready to be home.  If you are wondering about Hudson during our ballet days, he doesn’t go every time.   On most weeks, Jacob is home for 1 or 2 of the ballet days and  one of us stays with Hudson.  When he does go, he often falls asleep in his stroller on the train ride there and of course eating dinner and watching some netflix is part of his day anyway, he just has to do it away from home.

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And now for Macy’s exciting news!  During the year SAB students are asked to fill childrens’ roles in ballets at New York City Ballet.  This being Macy’s first year learning ballet so intensely we have not auditioned for any of the open calls, but some of the ballets roles are chosen directly by the Children’s Ballet Master……

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Macy has been chosen to perform in the ballet Firebird with the NYCB for 4 nights in May at David Koch theater!   It really was a surprise to us that she was offered this experience so soon, we are so proud of how hard she has been working. This week she begins rehearsals and of course we plan to attend all 4 performances.  I cant wait to she my baby girl on stage at Lincoln Center!  I will certainly have more to share as it happens, so stay tuned.

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Filed under I heart NY, The Chic Tween

A Ballet Journey Begins

Macy Berry’s ballet shoes

Yesterday Macy’s dancewear arrived.  Nothing in the order was out of the ordinary, except the amount.  Never have we had to order so many leotards and tights for one year of ballet.  It’s a small symbolic moment to compare the move she is making from dancing 1 hour a week to 6 hours a week.   I studied her little ballet slippers this morning, thinking about how much wear and tear they will soon be receiving.  This is our last lazy weekend, next Wednesday Macy will start her classes at School of American Ballet.  We enthusiastically anticipate this new journey and I look forward sharing our joy and stories with you all!

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School of American Ballet Invites Macy Berry to Enroll

Macy Berry, Brooklyn, New York

I am delighted to share my family’s wonderful news, my daughter Macy has been accepted into the prestigious The School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center.  Macy has always loved to dance and enjoyed a few years with Joffrey Ballet School when SAB auditions fell into our lap.  We weren’t looking for change but after learning more about the school felt that the classical technique that they offer is more of the style that Macy enjoys.  She has been placed in level III at SAB and is excited that she is one level below learning Pointe, her biggest goal.

Alfred Eisenstaedt dancers at George Balanchines School of American Ballet lined up at barre during training.

Alfred Eisenstaedt ballerinas on a window sill in rehearsal room at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet

“The School of American Ballet, the official training academy of the New York City Ballet was established in 1934 by legendary choreographer George Balanchine and philanthropist Lincoln Kirstein”  “Many SAB students have unique opportunities to gain performing experience through the School’s affiliation with New York City Ballet.  Younger students are featured in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Coppelia, among other ballets”  – http://www.SAB.org   While learning about the school we found an amazing 16 minute video.  We think it gives an excellent overview and inside look  at what SAB is about from auditions to alternative high school education.

Students from SAB’s Girls IV class perform Coppélia Photo by Paul Koknik

Macy Berry Ballerina

As we learn about the opportunities that a path with SAB can bring, Macy becomes more interested in becoming the best dancer she can be.  Everyday she is stretching, dancing and studying ballet terms to stay in shape this summer.  She starts classes in September for a 90 minute class 4 times a week.  We will sorely miss our trips to Joffrey Ballet in the West Village but I am excited to explore more of the UWS.   Hudson and I will be spending a lot of time there while Macy is dancing her heart out!

Snowflakes from The Nutcracker
New York City Ballet photo by Paul Koknik

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
New York City Ballet photo by Paul Koknik

At least 5 years ago Macy cut this image of the Waltz of the Flowers out of the NY Times, we laminated it and it has hung around her room since then.  We look forward to seeing more ballets this year and maybe one day Macy’s dream of being that Dewdrop in the middle will come true.

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Filed under City Mouse + Country Mouse, The Chic Tween