What's It Like to Be Clara in the Nutcracker

13-year-old Maggie Crist was Clara in KCB's 2016 production of the Nutcracker.
Maggie Crist Nutcracker


13-year-old Maggie Crist’s dance dreams came true when she was chosen to portray Clara in the Kansas City Ballet’s 2016 Production of the holiday classic. Last month she also danced the part on stage with the KCB at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

  •  “My first day at the Kansas City Ballet was actually the day of the audition for The Nutcracker. I was totally surprised when I found out I got the role, my mom cried.”


  •  “I was very nervous going into rehearsals because this was my first big show. I had done other small performances and competitions, but I had never done anything with the Kansas City Ballet before. No one knew me and I felt a lot of pressure to make a good first impression.”


  •  “Rehearsals took up a lot of time, I would take classes five days a week and then have rehearsal on the weekends for seven hours, so I would have to do homework in the car on the way or wake up early and do it before school.”


  •    By the end of the year Maggie will have danced the role of Clara 16 times.


  •     When The Nutcracker was first performed in Russia in 1892 critics were not impressed. It took almost 70 years for the The Nutcracker to become a holiday tradition.


  •    “The company was so much fun to work with. Going into rehearsals I thought that they would be very strict and wouldn't mess around, but I was surprised because they did joke and mess around with me. It was nice because they knew how I felt; they’d been there before.”


  •  “One of the Nutcrackers I danced with would tell me about his love life all the time. He liked a girl in the company and would say that he’s been trying to flirt with her for eight months. It never went well with them; I don’t think she was interested.”


  •     “Overall the show was so fun. Everyone was so nice and I made so many new friends and have so many inside jokes with the whole cast. I get to perform again at the Kennedy Center and I’m so excited to do that.” 


Categories: People