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Mother-Daughter Outing: The Boston Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty


Seven-year-old Emma and I had the wonderful treat on Friday night of complimentary tickets to the Boston Ballet’s opening night performance of Sleeping Beauty. Emma was so excited! She borrowed a book on dance from the library, and talked to her teacher at school about it. And she was not disappointed! When the orchestra started playing the opening notes of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece, she leaned over and whispered, “Mama! They are really good!” Then the dancers came out, and she was mesmerized – by the choreography, the costumes, and the set. I expected her to get all excited by the good fairies, but she most lovedthe costume for Carabosse (the fairy who curses Aurora) – played here by Erica Cornejo:

Erica Cornejo in Boston Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty by Rosalie O'Connor

As Emma put it, “her dress is so ugly!” I do agree with Emma that the wardrobe design (and the dancing and set design) was impeccable. I particularly loved the sleeves for the white cat dancer that appears with Puss’n Boots. Emma thought it was funny to see these characters from other fairy tales (Red Riding Hood and the wolf also appear, as do Beauty and the Beast) at the end.

The performance started at 7:30pm – half an hour after Emma’s bedtime – and we got out around 10:30pm. She did fall asleep at the very end, for just a few minutes, but that was from sheer exhaustion. She loved every minute of the ballet.

Now Emma wants to learn ballet – she was showing me the information about classes run by the Boston Ballet in the program. And she already checked out a few more ballet books from the library.

I had Emma write up a few questions for a ballet dancer before we went, and Rachel Cossar – who played one of the Lilac Fairy attendants – was kind enough to answer them! Here’s what Rachel, who competed on Canada’s national rhythmic gymnastics team before dancing with the Boston Ballet, had to say:

How did you learn to be such a good ballet dancer?
Learning to be a good ballet dancer is an ongoing thing. I am definitely still on that road :) Taking class everyday is like taking your vitamins though!


What is your favorite thing in ballet?
My favorite thing in ballet is performing. Those moments on stage make all of your rehearsals and hard work worth it:)


What is the easiest thing in ballet?
I am not sure if that exists..haha. Maybe…mmm nope, don’t think that exists.


What is the hardest thing in ballet?
The hardest thing in ballet is dealing with injuries, because not being able to dance when you really want to is the most difficult thing ever.


How many dance performances have you been in?
Too many to count!


Is ballet fun?
Ballet is very fun, especially when you get to dance and rehearse with your friends.


What advice do you have for kids?
I would say that even though ballet is difficult, the friendships you build and things you learn as you progress are invaluable. And when you do get on stage, there is nothing like it!

Thank you, Rachel, for answering Emma’s question, and thank you to the Boston Ballet for a magical mother-daughter evening!

I always wanted to take ballet as a kid, but I never did. Did you take ballet lessons when you were young? Do your kids?

MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

27 thoughts on “Mother-Daughter Outing: The Boston Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty”

  1. This is awesome! I think it is important to expose kids to culture! The art of ballet is one of my favorite…even though I am not a dancer myself! Your daughter looks beautiful!

  2. What a fantastic evening! It’s always fun doing that type of stuff with your kids!

    Good for you and good for the little one! I love the interview questions.

    I did take ballet as a kid, but never really got into it. Plus, I totally didn’t have the body type and grace for it. I was more of a tap star. I excelled in tap.

  3. Elisa | blissfulE

    Never took any dance lessons, though I wanted to off and on. Since I can’t even touch my toes, it would have been a STRETCH to imagine me dancing at all! :) I have read some amazing biographies of ballet dancers, and there it is an amazing and very difficult sport.

  4. What a fantastic mother-daughter evening out. I bet Emma enjoyed every minute of it and of being with you. I love watching ballet, but I never took any dance classes, and I doubt that they are in the cards of my energetic but not necessarily graceful, daughter :)

  5. I’m jealous! Going to the live ballet has been out of our budget for any serious event, but Princess has loved going to the Fathom event version at the movie theater.

    Princess has declared she doesn’t want to be a ballerina because then she might have to dance with a boy………

  6. Looks like a perfect mother/daughter evening! I never took ballet. I did tap and tumbling but never ballet. I think I wasn’t graceful enough for it!

  7. Varya @ littleartists

    WOW, so lucky! We haven’t managed yet to visit any ballet performance since miss T was quite young for them. I took ballet classes as a child (in fact, graduated from music and choreography school) but didn’t take it further. Miss T loves ballet from what she’s seen on TV (movies and cartoons) and wants to learn, so we might let her start classes next weekend!

    1. That is so cool that you graduated from music and choreography school! One thing the many things that amaze me about ballet is how much of the story the dancers tell with their arms!

      1. Varya @ littleartists

        Yes, it is really interesting!!! But it was tough! I remember how we would rehearse sometimes over the weekend for performances for HOURS!

  8. what a lovely outing with your precious little lady :-) I wanted to take ballet when I was younger but never did, maybe my girls will if they want, will see :-)

  9. What a special night for you and Emma. It sounds amazing. I did take ballet for a very short time as a kid and I loved it. I’ve recently ordered a preschool dance instruction DVD for the girls that teaches ballet, tap and jazz. They love to dance so I hope it will be good.

  10. How wonderful I loved going to the ballet and theatre with my mum we had a regular prechristmas mum and daughter date to see something normally swan lake or the nutcracker it’s something I’m looking forward to doing with t when she is a little older

  11. Art education is super important. I’m so glad you and Emma got to enjoy the ballet! It’s never too late to start ballet. I grew up in ballet and went to a performing arts high school in Las Vegas. I enjoy movement so much that I decided to focus my engineering degree to it, so I study gait (in particular gait with the pain that comes from knee osteoarthritis).

  12. What a special evening! I never took any dance classes, but my sister actually studied with the the Boston Ballet school for years, and drove there every day after school in high school. She was a snowflake in the Nutcracker several times. My son took a combination ballet/tap class when he was 3 or 4 … he was the only boy and liked stomping around in the tap shoes :)

    1. That is so neat that your sister studied with the Boston Ballet school, and was in the Nutcracker! I love that your son took dance. I think my son would also enjoy stomping around in tap shoes!

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