Say what you will about Nutcracker, but there's something magical about the ballet. The snowflakes falling on the stage, the little girls in the audience falling for tutus and pointe shoes.
Leanne Cope, this issue's "Dancer Spotlight," has a special attachment to Nutcracker. During a performance at The Royal Ballet in 2009, her boyfriend, soloist Paul Kay, got to dance the Nutcracker Prince to Cope's Clara. At the end of Act II, the choreography calls for the Nutcracker to hand Clara a prop card. Instead, Kay slipped her a note that said, "Will you marry me?"
"Thank goodness I didn't have to do any more steps," Cope jokes, looking back.
It's easy to get jaded during Nutcracker. The relentless marathon of shows is simply exhausting, both physically and mentally. But even if your run this year doesn't include a proposal, don't forget: Somewhere out there in the audience, someone's falling in love with you and what you get to do up on that stage.