ballet Christmas Inslee By Design Inslee Haynes nutcracker The Sketch Book

Here's a sketch of Clara I created for a ballet school in my hometown to help them celebrate their 2012 production of The Nutcracker. Is anyone going to see the ballet?

I am dying to go, I say this every year, and then I never do it. I think subconsciously I have a block against it because I know that it wont be MY version of the Nutcracker and I'll be disappointed.

Growing up as a ballerina meant that The Nutcracker outranked Christmas and my birthday combined. I lived for it. LIVED FOR IT. It was the single most important part of the year, and finding out what role I was cast in was essentially how I evaluated my entire existence and progress as a human being.

I guess, I was a little bit unhealthily obsessed. I owned multiple books and videos all documenting various versions of the ballet and I would pour over them again and again trying to distinguish all the discrepancies that made each story a little different. No version will ever be as perfect as the one I grew up dancing. I could probably still act the entire thing out for you right now if you put the soundtrack on.

So this one goes out to all you Claras out there. We're the ones who really know what Christmas is about - magic and wonder.

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