Des Moines Ballerinas Inspire One Another in Preparation for the Nutcracker

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- On the eve of Ballet Des Moines' 18th annual weekend performance of The Nutcracker, ballerinas of all ages reflected on what the performance means to each other.

Company member 25-year-old Amelia Grubb said it reminds her of how she got her start.

"Every child on stage is always just so full of that joy and it's just so fun to see," she said.

Grubb said she doesn't take her role in the company and show lightly, and understands that young ballerinas are looking up to her.

"It's also a responsibility because it's then your job to inspire younger generations," she said.

13-year-old Lillie Smithhart, who plays Clara, said she loves working with the professional dancers.

"I want to be a professional dancer," Smithhart said. "It inspires you because you want to get better to be like them one day."

Grubb has been in countless performances of the Nutcracker. She said it's always exciting, especially when working with children who embody the holiday spirit.

"For me it's about the joy of life," she said. "It's like when you're younger and that excitement you have during Christmas time and capturing that excitement."

She said the countless hours of rehearsal make it work it. The dancers are a mix of a few company members and Des Moines metro dancers who auditioned; they have been training since August.

"Our job is to make it look effortless and beautiful and that's what's amazing about ballet," Grubb said.

Performances start on Friday at Hoyt Sherman Place. You can buy tickets at the box office or online at Ticketmaster. Times include:

  • Friday, Dec 13 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec 14 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec 15 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

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