By Catherine Festa, TSB Staff
Ten years. That’s more than half of my life. It’s crazy to believe that for the past 10 years, I have been a part of Taylor Dance Center’s The Nutcracker. When I was 7 years old, I played the part of Mother Ginger for the first year the studio ever hosted the event. And now, here I am 18 years old and the Sugar Plum Fairy of my final Nutcracker this weekend.
Every time I think about taking my final bow this weekend, I am overwhelmed. It seems odd for this to be the last time for me to do something that has come quite naturally. But unfortunately, the time has come. At the McKinney North High School Auditorium this weekend, I will have my final hoorah. After years of watching all the older girls in front of me dance with the tiara on top of their head and the elegant tutu to that same tune I know oh so well, it is my turn.
But let me back up for just a second. How is it that a girl who used to be the shortest one in the bunch with dark hair and a fiery personality is now the lead? I wonder that all the time. When I first began dancing, I never would’ve expected to end up here with my name at the top of the list in the program. But I guess it all comes unexpectedly.
Once a young Mother Ginger with white pantaloons, then a Flower Blossom, then a Snowflake, a Doll, the Dew Drop, the Snow Queen, and now Sugar Plum, it has been quite the journey and I wouldn’t trade one moment of it. Dance is a big part of who I am and although I am unfortunately not pursuing dance next year, it has shaped me and my future. It’s taught me so much and I am forever grateful for that. As this weekend comes within hours away, I find these last moments to myself bittersweet … sad that it is the end of an era, but eager for what is to come.
As I take my final bow this weekend and the curtain drops in front of me one last time, I hope to keep in mind that this is all part of growing up. Although it was once my dream to dance on a big stage one day with a company, dreams change.
I can’t wait to see what comes next for me in the next 10 years.