When my daughter was between the ages of 6 and 8, my husband and I had a few discussions about the need to put her in a team sport. I wasn’t against team sports in any way, but Paloma is a very small girl for her age and she always had a hard time keeping up with the bigger kids on the playground. I would always counter that ballet is a team effort but would have a hard time articulating exactly why. Lately, each Saturday as I’m surrounded by dancers ranging in age between 6 and 60, I’m reminded again of just what a valuable lesson in teamwork participating in productions such as Nutcracker are.
“All artists who understand the collaborative aspects of ensemble know they can often accomplish much more together than the group’s individual talented members could ever achieve on their own.” ~Dr. Patricia Hoy
Undoubtedly, participating in an ensemble production is very different than playing in competitive soccer, for instance. There are no winners or losers, no score is kept. On the other hand, each person on stage is personally responsible for their role while simultaneously needing to be continually aware of all the other dancers on stage. The goal is collective: to produce the most beautiful and flawless dance… together. And here is what I like best: it is done for others, our audience. I always feel so blessed to be in the field I’m in, but lately, as I’ve peeked at our group of 7-year-old Fairies sitting quietly while I work with the older dancers, I can see that they already get that they are part of a larger whole and that warms my heart incredibly.
Thank you, parents, for your part in the teamwork by allowing your children to participate and making the commitment to our production. Here is a neat little article on all the benefits of ballet for kids.
CCB Artistic Director