Dearest Clara and Nutcracker,
Welcome to your night.
A night of snow. A night of lights. A night of magic. A night in which the dancing invites the audience to feel the enchantment. And they do.
And not just because of the snow and lights and magic, but because of the pas–a dance for two. Because of you.
You dance side by side, connect, break apart, return. It happens again and again. Lifts, turns, leaps.
The power of Snow Pas seems to be in the togetherness, but the secret is that it is not.
The secret is you. Snow could not be a Pas without your strength. Snow could not be a Pas without your groundedness. Snow could not be a Pas without both Clara and the Nutcracker being whole and complete on their own.
It is true in ballet and true in life.
In order to be a good partner, a good friend, a good member of our family, we need to be good to ourselves first.
Be strong in yourself so that you can be strong for others. Know who you are so that you can help others know themselves. Be gentle and kind to yourself so that you can offer kindness and grace to others.
There will always be asks and demands and pressures on your time. Friends will need you. Family will want you. Life will pull at you.
Before you say Yes to them, say Yes to yourself. Before you give to them, give something to you. A quiet moment. A deep breath. An awareness of who you are. When we know ourselves, we are most ready to help others.
And then let the Pas begin. Let the dance of life take you wherever the music leads.
And tonight, let it lead you to the land of enchantment. A place you have created for yourself, for your partner, for the audience. All from the magic of you.
With all my love,
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This is the tenth year I have performed in The Nutcracker. It is my ninth year as Clara’s mother, the eighth time I have written a letter to the dancers. Here are the links to the letters for the past seven years: messy messy joy joy, stage fright, the balance pointe, home for the holidays, blizzards of truth, life in ¾ time, in a nutshell.