The Classic Nutcracker

by Eloise Cox, CBA dancer

Ballet Minnesota presents its 35th Annual ‘The Classic Nutcracker’ on December 15-17, 2023! Eloise Cox, a 7th grader at St. Croix Preparatory Academy and a level 5 CBA dancer, shares some insight into this Christmas tradition loved by many!

the classic nutcracker and clara

My favorite time of year!

Once the cool, autumn weather rolls in, my favorite holidays and traditions of the year are quick to follow! Starting with Halloween, what’s not to love about playing ghosts in the graveyard, leaf peeping, baking Halloween treats, and all the fun, spooky decorations! Then, we have Thanksgiving. Not only is it a wonderful time with family and friends to reflect on what we are thankful for, but the FOOD! I love being in the kitchen and helping cook each Thanksgiving dish. Especially the pies. I love making pies look artistic and decorative! And that brings us to December…

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”

Do those lyrics bring a tune to mind? December kicks off such a magical time of year! Whether celebrating Hanukkah or Christmas, there are so many wonderful traditions to partake in. One particular holiday tradition beloved by many – and one of my favorites – is the magical story of The Nutcracker.

 The Nutcracker Ballet is based on the fairy tale “The Nutcracker and the Mouse-King.” A young girl named Marie (Clara) dreams of a Nutcracker Prince who comes to life on Christmas Eve and wages a fierce battle against a Mouse King. After the epic battle, Clara is escorted by the Nutcracker Prince into the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets, where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy. A celebration of dances follows, ending with the famous Pas De Duex of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier.

‘The Classic Nutcracker’

I love to dance and have been taking ballet lessons since the age of three. Currently, I dance with Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota, the official school of Ballet Minnesota. This season, I will once again perform in ‘The Classic Nutcracker’ in the roles of Lead Friend, Elves, and Reed Flutes.

One of my favorite parts of the ballet is when Clara throws her slipper at the Rat King during the Battle Scene. The Rat King falls to the floor in defeat, and the mice gather up his lifeless body and scurry him away. It’s a dramatic battle! The Nutcracker has so many unique and different dances, AMAZING costumes, and beautiful sets and backdrops! It truly is an incredible story! Someday, I think it would be amazing to dance the role of a War Lieutenant, Clara, or the Chinese Dance!

the classic nutcracker sugar plum fairy and cavalier
'The Classic Nutcracker' Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier

Come and watch!

Tickets are on sale! We perform three shows plus offer a special weekday Student Matinee performance for local schools and community groups. It’s a great way to share our love of ballet and this special tradition with the community!

Head to Ballet Minnesota’s profile and click link in bio or click on The O’Shaughnessy for tickets and info!

Performances: December 15-17, 2023 at
The O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine’s University

December 15th School performance @ 10:30 AM
December 15th @ 7 PM
December 16th @ 2 PM
December 17th @ 2 PM

Can’t wait to see you there!

the classic nutcracker mother ginger
lead friend nutcracker ballet
nutcracker prince with christmas tree