“Point your toes, and raise your voice as we honor Christ’s birth and rejoice.” The program passed at the door announced the evening’s theme and purpose.
The show opened with the Marcato Children’s Choir conducted by Heidi Farmer. The children eagerly sang their way from the back of the auditorium making their way to the stage.
The announcer then spoke of three levels of Christmas as the children sang in angelic voices. The script came from an old newspaper article Farmer had received from her sister. Inspiring to many, the message was enjoy the fun parts of Christmas, yet be truly changed through its significant true meaning.
Aimee Ferrin accompanied the young choir. Her talent on the piano helped to convey the messages their little voices were singing. Farmer had only five short practices, starting just before Thanksgiving. In service mode throughout the year, she continually seeks opportunities to spread her love of music. The children sang brilliantly. While many choristers charge young singers to help them with this talent, Farmer volunteers her time.
An audience sing-along kept the program going as eight of the singers quickly changed into their tights and tutus to take the stage again. The program, filled with religious symbolism and meaning, had the auditorium that was three-fourths full chiming in and singing aloud in union. The storyline of Santa Claus pleading for parents to teach their children the true meaning of Christmas tied each of the songs together and held the attention of the audience.
Little girls then entered wearing pink tights and ballet shoes ready to perform dances they had been learning since earlier in the school year.
Each of the classes wore their own exquisite costume. When Natalie Tibbitts posted information about ordering costumes on her blog, she asked to be contacted if it would be a struggle to find money for costumes as well as if there were people who could donate to help cover costs of those who couldn’t.
Four-year-old Reese was excited to receive her costume. “I love to dress up,” she said. She loves her blue costume with the white skirt that shoots straight out. Her classmate Kennedy loves the furry white headpieces.
Five-year-old Tayvin loves ballet and enjoys practicing with her younger sister Peyton, who is not quite old enough for class yet. They have the routine down, however that didn’t totally quail Tayvin’s nerves. The days leading up to the performance Tayvin maturely came up with a plan. “I’m just going to think of it like practice.”
If any of the girls were nervous to perform, it didn’t show in their routine. Four dances were performed in all with over 40 sets of ballet shoes. The youngest two groups both danced delightfully to “Jolly Ol’ Saint Nicholas.” They started out the year together, but were separated because the class was so large and even the littlest of dancers could perform on their own. The oldest group, the Cabrioles, learned the dance techniques like the younger classes; however they also added in intricate formations.
Many tiny dancers have taken the stage to showcase their talent for friends and family. What made this recital so unique is the fact that it happened because of volunteers. Tibbitts wanted to give little girls the opportunity to learn to dance regardless of their ability to pay. She started with the idea of teaching ballet to her daughters Emma and Abbie. From a post on facebook to see if she could find a couple of girls interested in learning ballet, she received an overwhelming response. She added another class and then another to her busy Wednesday afternoon schedule. She now holds four classes full of ballerinas excited for the chance to dance.
“She is a good teacher and makes it real fun,” Emma beamed proudly of her mom. While all the little girls adore Natalie and the moms are extremely grateful, none are bigger fans than her two daughters. Abbie happily talks about how great her mom is, and what a wonderful teacher she is.
Mothers of little performers showed their daughters were not the only ones to have artistic talent. Saraiah Dickson organized a group to create a stunning stage worthy to showcase these beautiful ballerinas. Glittered ornaments and trendy tissue paper balls decked the stage. Heather Hicks volunteered to give the ballet classes a photo shoot. She captured beautiful photos of the girls, helping them preserve special memories. Dave Orn, owner of Family Cinema Entertainment, supported his daughters Karli and Payton, as well as the entire production with his expertise in sound and lights. Many other hands made the work light.
The little ballerinas and vocalists re-entered the stage for a combined song. The program lasted under an hour; however, it may have lasting effects on the lives of the performers allowing them to recognize the beauty they can bring to the world.