The Nutcracker ballet is one of the most well-known and beloved ballets in existence. Sharing the magic of The Nutcracker Ballet is a beautiful family tradition and a great way to enjoy special holiday moments with the ones you love most. So, if you are excitedly awaiting an opportunity to take your children to CPYB’s performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, here are a few tips to help prepare your child for the show.
Offer a Sneak Peek
Depending on your child’s age, consider prepping them before the actual Nutcracker ballet show with an overview of what they are about to see. Without giving the entire story away, you can share the premise of the story. If your child is too young to differentiate, explain in advance which parts of the story are dreams versus reality. This can help your child to immerse themselves in the story fully.
Introduce Music Ahead of Time
If you intend to take younger children to see George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, consider playing the music from the ballet ahead of time. When your children recognize music being performed during the Nutcracker ballet, they will be more likely to stay engaged. Sharing in the joy of the music from George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® is also a way to make lasting memories with your children and family before the performance even begins.
If your child has never been to a ballet performance or a theatrical production of any kind, they may need a bit of guidance when it comes to theater etiquette. Discuss the importance of being courteous and quiet when the show is live. Explain to them that you will be seeing the story live, which means real people will be performing right in front of them. They can help the performers do a better job if they are polite during the show. If you have a child who has difficulties sitting still, consider taking a walk to grab a snack together or tour the theater while they become more comfortable in this new and exciting environment before the performance.
Make it Immersive
Because George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® is so well-known and globally loved, there are plenty of fun and educational resources that you can use to introduce your child to The Nutcracker even before the performance begins. If your child finds it exciting, consider allowing them to “dress up” for the performance.
Depending on the ages of your children, you may need to prepare a bit more extensively ahead of time when it comes to food, snacks, and organization. Make sure your children have eaten ahead of time to minimize distractions and potential disruptions. Preparing your children for their first ballet performance may be challenging, but communication is key! Prep them by discussing the event they will be attending, consider showing them videos of ballets or theatre productions to help them understand. Familiarizing your child with how theaters operate and how attendees behave is the first step to ensuring a smooth outing and a joyful experience for all.
Taking your child to The Nutcracker Ballet provides an opportunity to share in holiday magic and make timeless memories, and it’s a way to share a bit of popular culture and history with your family.