By Kira B.
My little cousin Maija has been a part of her local Nutcracker performance for five consecutive years. She decided this year would be her last, so my family went to her opening performance.
Maija lives in Stoneham, Massachusetts, but many dance studios near her come together in Melrose to put on this performance. She’s been dancing ever since she was little, and has always had a passion for the sport, so it was surprising when she told us she was going to quit.
“I guess it’s just not as fun as it used to be for me,” said Maija. “All my friends are committing to the competition team, and I can’t make that commitment because of soccer.”
Although a last big performance can be bittersweet, Maija certainly ended on a good note.
Maija danced with her best friends as a peppermint twist in the second act, as part of the Russian dance of the candy canes. My whole family cheered as she danced on to the stage, and cheered as she danced off. We all loved seeing her up there doing something she has loved for so long.
I have always loved watching The Nutcracker and ballet in general; I used to do ballet too. I felt that the Melrose Youth Ballet, in particular, was really well done.
The cast ranged from young dancers to talented adults. Even with such a large age and talent range, everyone played an important role and was integrated into the whole performance seamlessly.
Lead roles were given to the most experienced dancers, but every kid had their time on stage.
Ballet can sometimes be dull, but with a constant variation of dancers and set changes that the Melrose Youth Ballet incorporated, I remained pleasantly entertained.
I congratulate Maija for a really great end to her ballet career, and I am so happy I was there to see it.