Halloween is now over, which means spooky season has come to a close and we’re officially in the run up to the holidays – and to sugar plums dancing in our head. Ballet dancers all over the world are prepping their pointe shoes and tutus for The Nutcracker. This year’s Nutcracker is somewhat special, though.
In other years, dancers might have felt bombarded by the inevitable Sugar Plum playlists repeating in shopping centers, visualizing their variations if not outright breaking into choreography right there in the middle of the mall. But after a year without the holiday staple, dancers are excited to bring back the tradition. After all, The Nutcracker marks the magic of the season, for dancers and audience alike.
Só Dança Ambassador Alima Bordley of Central Florida Ballet considers The Nutcracker part of her holiday habit. “It’s the perfect way to kick off the Christmas countdown and gives you a great reason to relax for a few days after so much preparation for the show,” she says. “Not only does it get me in the holiday mood, but I’m sure anyone in the audience will be feeling pretty festive, too!” Bordley talked us through what it’s like to be coming back to the classic after a year away from the stage – or at least the stage as we know it.
Bordley performed an in-person Nutcracker last year, although it was only excerpts for a small audience. “I was still super grateful to be on stage,” says Bordley. Given the restrictions in place at the time, it was through strict testing and regulations that Bordley could safely perform at all. “Fun fact: my COVID-19 test came in right before I had to go backstage! I was so nervous that I would have to dance with a mask on, but the negative result came back just in time.” So what will feel different about this year’s Nutcracker? “I will be on a bigger stage and will be performing the entire show, rather than a few sections from it. I am so excited for rehearsals, getting back in the theater and, of course, performing!”
Even though the onstage snow is fake, we all know it gets cold backstage. Bordley keeps a few favorite Só Dança warm-ups close by. “It is always freezing backstage. Warm-ups and snacks are the only things that get me through!” she reveals. “I am obsessed with the Só Dança Cloud Booties. They come in so many cute colors, and the hard sole makes it comfortable to walk around the theater all day. I also love the Adult Zip Up Só Dança Jacket; it is so comfy and allows me to move freely without feeling restricted at all. It’s loose enough to fit over my costumes but snug enough to keep me warm!”
With rehearsals from here to December, there are a few key pieces Bordley relies on, Nutcracker after Nutcracker. “Aside from warm-ups, my Só Dança SD16s are my favorite ballet shoes to wear during classes and stage blocks. Plus, I can wear them under my booties for easy access.”
As for where to store all the gear and goodies, given the dressing room chaos we all know and love? “My Só Dança Harry Canvas Backpack keeps all of my things organized no matter what gets thrown in there,” Bordley says. “I love every Só Dança product I own. They are all such good quality and make me feel so confident!”
By Holly LaRoche of Dance Informa.