The Nutcracker Ballet was absolutely exquisite! The students arrived all dressed up, smiling, and excited to see the performance. A few students were delayed by a terrible accident on Rt. 66, but we got them seated as soon as they arrived so that they did not miss much. Students, family members, mentors and social workers all sat in the orchestra section front and center to enjoy every moment. Everything about the show was top notch and the theatre itself was stunning! We all couldn’t get over our amazing seats, courtesy of the Manassas Ballet Theatre and Macy’s who sponsored our tickets! We want to especially thank Ms. Jeanette Meyers who made all of this possible by reaching out to us way back in September at the Academy Kickoff with her generous kindness to let us experience the live ballet for the first time for all of our students! As with most of us who have experienced the Nutcracker, from here on forward, the students will never be able to hear the music without an immediate association with this incredible production.
After the show, the students were able to meet and talk with the dancers. The Executive Director, Mark D. Wolfe, and Amy Grant Wolfe, Artistic Director, met with our students and offered free dance training for anyone who wished to pursue their interest. Four students immediately asked me to take them over to be introduced and to express their interest. We will try to work out transportation and other logistical challenges to make this happen. Further, Mr. Wolfe indicated that we would be welcomed to the other seasonal performances in the next year. Our students were treated like royalty!!
As if that were not enough, Mr. and Mrs. Barker-Clem from First Star surprised the students with delicious gourmet cupcakes to take home and enjoy. I accompanied this sweet surprise with the news that Arena Stage has graciously offered our students workshops on writing and producing their original stories on stage with professional guidance and training in this artistic field. We can barely contain our excitement by the possibilities for our young scholars! We look forward to their visit at our next January 6th meeting to discuss the details further. As we all know, our students have much to share with us and we look forward to their artistic expression as well as their social activism and cognitive contributions to the world.
Thank you to all who made this wonderful day possible. Thank you, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Manassas Ballet Theatre, George Mason University, Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County Department of Family Services, DC Children and Family Services Agency and all affiliate agencies services serving foster youth in need. The only words I can think of to even begin to do justice to the experience is- GLORIOUS JOY!
It brings tears to my eyes to see how much the world is expanding for our students– like a flower bud opening up to its full blossom- GLORIOUS JOY!
THANK YOU AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!