How to Beat the Post-Nutcracker Blues

While many productions of The Nutcracker, traditional or unconventional, are still going strong across the country, this weekend also saw countless Claras and Maries waving good-bye to the Land of Sweets for the very last time this year.

And let's be real here: the post-Nutcracker blues are a struggle like no other. We know your studio could be full of distracted, listless or just plain exhausted bunheads. One way to spark enough energy in your dancers to finish 2016 strong? Bring some holiday cheer into the classroom with seasonal music picks!

We asked Ballet Chicago co-directors Patricia Blair and Daniel Duell for some favorite holiday tracks. Their top picks come from the album Christmas Music for Ballet Class, recorded by the late School of American Ballet accompanist Lynn Stanford.

  • Track 4, 2/4: "Lynn's version of 'Jingle Bells' is utterly charming, with wonderful bounce in it, and a great tempo for petit allégro, or jetés and frappés at the barre." —Patricia Blair
  • Track 14, 3/4: "Lynn's 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas' is an all-time favorite for grand allégro. Lynn's joyful energy infuses the dancers with the same, and there's a great feeling of release that sets the tone for soaring in-class performances." —Daniel Duell
  • Track 17, slow 6/8: "Lynn's 'Silent Night' is a perfect finish for class, a beautiful révérence. It brings the dancers to a calm focus before or after a performance." —PB

How do you keep dancers motivated and energized after the thrill of Nutcracker is over?

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