Every family has their holiday traditions.
For some it the yearly Christmas pajamas or the crazy antics of their Elf on a Shelf for others it is grandma’s turkey dressing or caroling at a local senior center.
For two Neuse Charter School elementary students their holiday tradition is bringing joy to the masses through a time honored performance, that in most families, is considered a holiday tradition within itself.
Mackenzie and Zachary Spicer are dancers, but not just any dancers…they are dancers in the Carolina Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.
Mackenzie, a 4th grader in Ms. Wellbrook’s class, has performed in the infamous production for the past three years. As a ballet student at Clayton’s Carolina Dance Productions studio, Mackenzie has specialized in ballet, jazz and hip hop since she was two years old.
Her brother Zachary, a 2nd grader in Ms. Hanafin’s class, has also taken hip hop and ballet for the past five years.
Mackenzie is showing her brother the ropes this year as he makes his first debut in the annual production.
Auditions were held in September and Mackenzie landed two roles. She appears as a soldier fighting off the notorious Rat King in an early part of the production and comes back to the stage later as an Arabian dancing during the coffee scene. Zachary appears near the beginning playing the role of a party boy on Christmas Eve at the Tannenbaum home.
The two students appear in a total of 14 shows spanning Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh beginning Dec. 5 and running through Dec. 27.
Mackenzie opens the season appearing in all three shows in Chapel Hill in early December, but Zachary does not perform till the show hits the DPAC in Durham on Dec. 11.
“The DPAC show is a special school performance where schools can bring kids for a field trip to experience the ballet,” said Nefretiri Spicer, proud mom of the two talents.
Weekends and a few weekday evenings are filled with rehearsals, but the two don’t mind juggling school and dance.
“The best part is being on stage with professionals dancers,” said Mackenzie.
“They have seen the Nutcracker, our family's Christmas tradition, so many times it was just natural for them to want to try out when they got old enough,” said Nefretiri. “They both love to dance and perform.”
(Editor’s note: The Nutcracker is a great show for young and old alike. A parental tip is to give your children an overview of The Nutcracker before going to the ballet so that they understand what they are seeing in each scene. Ticket information can be found at: https://www.carolinaballet.com/get-tickets)