Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago
Performances: Noon and 3 p.m.; Workshops: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Admission: Free. Discounted parking of $12 is available at 20 E.
Randolph St., across from Macy's, and security guards in the
Cultural Center lobby can validate.
If you have a budding sugar plum fairy or toy soldier in the
house, head to the Chicago Cultural Center Dec. 4 for a little
twirl with the ballerinas.
The annual Dance-Along Nutcracker starts with a one-hour ballet
workshop geared towards kids 3-8 years old.
"Jennifer Minkin (founder of the ARCC ballet) teaches some
really basic ballet moves to the kids," says Angela Latkowski,
program manager for the Chicago Office of Tourism and Cultural
Events. "During the dance-along portions, she gets up and leads
everyone in those moves taught beforehand."
The one-hour show takes place following the workshop and is a
combination of ballerinas performing solos and audience members
being invited to dance along.
"There are lots of tutus, little toy soldiers, Santa hats,
anything really holiday, Nutcracker-related," Latkowski says.
"There's a live band playing, so adults get into it and dress in
costume as well."
For younger children, this is an especially easy way to
introduce them to dance, Latkowski says. "For a lot of kids, it's
hard for them to sit still for an hour through any show. Here they
can be involved and parents can get pictures and videos."
The hall where the performance is held holds about 500 people
and is typically at capacity. If you want to be near the front,
arrive early, Latkowski says.
Liz DeCarlo is the former senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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