ballet, how to, The Pennsylvania Ballet

Tour Day 2: Nutty Nutcracker Rehearsals

Did someone say rehearsal from noon to 10 PM?!

You know you are the midst of Nutcracker season when the rehearsal schedule calls for lengthy days. Lots of starting and stopping, spacing and adjusting. Rehearsals are for making mistakes and then correcting them in preparation for the performances. The lighting, sets, music and dancers all must be perfectly synced to create an unforgettable show.

 It is days like today where taking care of yourself is most important. It is quite easy to get nervous, overwhelmed, cold, or simply bored. Here a few tips on how to make it through long Nutcracker rehearsals.

  1. Prepare your dance bag the night before. In order to relieve much of your stress, make sure you are prepared before you even arrive at the theater. Do you have your stage makeup? Pointe shoes? Snacks? Bobby pins? etc.
  2. Wear warm ups as often as possible. Theaters tend to be chilly. If you’re not keeping your muscles warm by either dancing or wearing warm ups, they may tighten up which increases risk of injury.
  3. Use your time wisely. If you’re not dancing in a specific part of the ballet, you may find a lot of free time on your hands. Use this to your advantage. Bring a book with you and read, watch rehearsal from the audience, grab a snack, rest your body, or you can do what I did today…take photos from the wings!

I hope these tips helped you in some way!


Marie dancing the Sugar Plum Fairy variation in the wings.


Coffee and Pointe shoes = Life




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