Everything Nutcracker

#TBT: 6 Pros Reveal Their Cutest Childhood "Nutcracker" Photos

San Francisco Ballet principal Joseph Walsh at age 3 as the tiny green elf in his local Nutcracker. Courtesy Walsh.

Oh, Nutcracker... It's the ballet experience that unites us all, from young student to seasoned pro. Whether you made your entrance in a mouse costume or under Mother Ginger's skirt, do you remember the choreography and costume of your very first role?

Today, six professionals share their favorite childhood Nutcracker photos and memories.


Kathleen Breen Combes, Boston Ballet Principal 

Courtesy Breen Combes

I was 11 years old in this Nutcracker photo. I danced Clara the year before but this year I got to dance it on pointe.

I remember loving every minute getting to dance Clara. My Fritz in the picture is Oliver Halkowich, who is now a soloist with Houston Ballet. We trained with Magda Aunon, a Cuban teacher in South Florida.

Each year she would give me something more challenging in the Nutcracker to perform. She was also the first teacher to really focus on the artistic qualities that are so important as a professional dancer. It wasn't about just doing steps, it was about telling a story.

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