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'Applause is what keeps us going': A holiday tradition of The Nutcracker returns to The Grand

Ballerina Sophia Tang says she's glad people are still making it a holiday tradition to come see the show.

MACON, Ga. — The Nutcracker of Middle Georgia is back once more at the Grand Opera House after a one-year hiatus due to COVID.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so excited. Ever since we’ve started rehearsing, that’s the only thing that’s been on my mind, just performing and then getting this rush of adrenaline like the week before,” said 17-year-old ballerina Sophia Tang.

She's been dancing since she was 7, and has been in Nutcracker performances since she was in the eighth grade.

In this year’s performance, she's playing a snowflake, a Spanish chocolate, and a flower.

She says that the Nutcracker is special not only because it is a happy story, but because it is one of the biggest performances where dancers can show the skills they’ve been working on all year.

“There’s just something truly amazing about performing in the Nutcracker where there’s other people who get to see you and see this art that you’ve loved for these past few years and see your passion on the stage,” said Tang.

The dancers have been practicing for this show every weekend since September.

Tang says that she loves the poise and gracefulness of ballet, and that it can hide so much strength within the movements. She says the Nutcracker is special to her because of the community of people who make it come to life.

“I know it's just a little cliché, but it's just such an amazing group of people to dance with. The teachers, the volunteers, everyone on the board... they’re all so nice and they’re so welcoming and they’re just so good at doing everything and making this feel really special,” she said.

She says that she wants people to know that while each dancer tries to make each movement look effortless; there is a lot of hard work behind the scenes.

“I know when you see it on-stage we really try our best to make it look flawless and as graceful as possible, but we put so many hours behind it and so much work and blood and sweat," she said.

Tang says she loves that people want to come see the Nutcracker after being on hiatus for a year and she's glad that people are still making it a holiday tradition to come see the show.

All four performances of The Nutcracker are sold out. The first show begins on Friday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m.


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