Auditions Today!

Nutcracker tryouts
Nutcracker try-outs

It’s September again; the stores, they started it first

Christmas, its here and now it’s time to rehearse

Find the nice tights, leotards; put buns in their hair

It’s Nutcracker tryouts — hurry, hurry, let’s prepare


Every Sunday from now, right up to those two special days

They’ll practice away in their sugarplum haze

We’ll leave other events early with a sigh or a pout

And arrive at the studio to grand jeté about


As the music is cranked our smiles quickly return

It’s Tchaikovsky we hear, so many new parts to be learned

The Littles and Bigs, they will dance with the Donetsk ballet

As they show the story of a girl, her gift and her dream in a magical way


My sweet little maidelahs making Yuletide traditions

Sharing steps with Ukrainian mavens, in Balanchine’s celebrated positions

A mouse and a cook for my Big this holiday season, My Little a polichinelle and a small doll

Two roles, two acts, and two costumes for each, making memories, having fun, above all


In theatre with stage sets that ‘wows’ every viewer, this Yiddisher momma, oy how I’ll kvell

Come one, come all, grab a seat and enjoy, such nachas can only make you feel well

The Holiday season is right smack dab on us; the emmes truth, we couldn’t be cheerier

Vas, like you have something better to do? Not when the Wissahicken Dance Academy is so superior!


A bei gezunt to all (You should all be healthy)!








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Have you Ever Been to Wonderland?

photo courtesy of willowandsage1
photo courtesy of willowandsage1

Talk about waiting for the weekend? This one, we have anticipated since Big and Little danced the Nutcracker this past winter. The arrival of the spring dance recital officially kicks off summer. With an abrupt flip of the temps from 50’s to 90’s (it wasn’t a hot flash – because everyone felt it) overnight, summer, she played along nicely. This year, the show was Alice in Wonderland. Little, was a sweet little blue bird, with a feathery tail and little yellow beak. Big, she was a Cheshire cat, complete with a tail, ears, and a glow in the dark smile.


My kinder (kids), they have been persistently practicing every plié and pirouette since January. The Mrs., she spends countless hours in the ballet studio, watching magic happen and a few too many meltdowns, mittendrinnen (usually Little, in the middle of everything). I know my bubelah’s (loving term, like darling or sweetie) have been grand jeté -ing and pas de chat -ing every single night and day. Check with the downstairsikah’s (neighbors below us) here at the Manor. Oy vey, don’t ask.

This Yiddisher momma was kvelling (blushing with bliss) in both the afternoon and evening shows. You know what, intentionally, I looked around at the other spectators. Clearly, I was not the only one captivated by the hard work, talent and stick-to-itiveness of every kid and young adult on that stage performing. Whether they knew it or not, everyone was kvelling. Just like the Cheshire cats prancing on stage with young Alice, we were all grinning from ear to ear. We did not fall down any rabbit hole. We were not dreaming. We were witnessing the enchanted way dance instructors magically connect with students and put on a masterpiece.

Over-kvell: Smilin' like a Cheshire Cat!
Over-kvell: Smilin’ like a Cheshire Cat!

I spent the intermission massaging my jaw from over-kvell; smiling with too much abandon. As the lights dimmed, jazz, tap, modern, and hip-hop artists confidently seized the stage and left us all spellbound. Bravo. Mazel Tov (hooray!) to each and every one of those girls and boys that got up and strutted their stuff on that stage. Big, my shana madelah (sweet girl) stormed the stage to Cheerleader with her fellow dance mates in beginner hip-hop. This dance, the entire semester, she kept every move a secret, so she could surprise me at the recital. Surprise me, she did!

It’s so clear to me that these kids, my kinder and all of the students participating, enjoy every step on the footpath to learning the art of the dance. Great big thanks to Nancy Malmed and all of the wonderful teachers at Wissahicken Dance Academy.

In addition to cultivating talent and skills, you are all providing my kinder moxie, in a world that likes to steal it from them. Thank you for that.


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Oy Vey, It’s Nutcracker Day!

Nut 1a

Way back in September, when school first started and the chaos of a summer’s day turned just a tad bit more orderly, after school ballet began for Little and Big. What also started was The Nutcracker practice. It seemed crazy to be hearing the ‘Dum da-da-Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum-Dah,’ when just moments before we were splashing in the pool and schvitzing on a walk in the woods. The color of the summer still glowed, like the tans on the wee ones (despite massive amounts of sunscreen applied thick as spackle). And tonight, in the blink of just one eye, is the first performance.

nut 4a

As old Saint Nick is setting his Google maps ready for the minyan of reindeer led by sir Rudolph himself, we prep for several dress rehearsals, a school show, and two ticket-wielding performances.


This is serious stuff for Little and Big; and a gargantuan effort for Ema, who packs snacks, waters, books, crayons, toys and and schleps 4 days a week to pull this off. Despite the mishegas of after school extracurriculars, this show brings the discipline of every Sunday afternoon until now.


See the big deal is, that hoNut 3aused under the roof of the (dance school) Wissahicken Dance Academy, is a non-profit organization called the International Ballet Exchange (IBE). Professional dancers of the Donetsk Ballet of Ukraine come to the US to perform each year, with and beside my Little and Big! I’m kvelling as I type! My wee ones on stage with the big Ukrainian machers…pinch me!


It’s a meshuggeneh time around here. Two moms and two girls clearly get our panties in a bit of a bunch as show time nears. Hairdryers blow. Curling irons curl. Outfits are laid out, and usually argued about. Friends, family, mishpocheh gather outside the theatre. Butterflies dance in our tummies (it’s just us Moms with the kishkas twirling – the girls know no fear or performance anxiety).

nut 2a

And tonight at 6:30 pm, as the lights dim, the curtains rise and the music begins; you will see the naches on my face as I grin from ear to ear for both acts. While my littles perform, with the littles of others and the bigs of the Ukraine, my world is just about perfect.





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