An 11-year-old girl will make history as the first black lead in NYC ballet's 'The Nutcracker'
via TK2LDCNews / Twitter

For the first time since the annual holiday production began in 1954, the lead role of Marie in The New York City Ballet's production of "George Balanchine's The Nutcracker," is a black ballerina.

Eleven-year-old Charlotte Nebres, whose mother's family is from Trinidad and father's is from the Philippines, is a student at the School of American Ballet.

The leading role of the young heroine is known as Marie in the New York City Ballet's production, in others the young girl who dreams The Nutcracker to live is called Clara.


"When I'm looking for someone who can do Marie, I'm looking for someone primarily who has an ability to act on stage and to convey a story," Dena Abergel, children's ballet master at New York City Ballet, told The New York Times. "... It has to be someone who can command the stage and who has enough confidence and spontaneity to handle whatever comes her way."

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Charlotte is a student at the School of American Ballet where most of the City Ballet's members originate.

After Nebres heard that she got the role she told her mother the news with a deadpan delivery.

"With that poker face of hers, she said, 'Well, I'm Marie,' And I just thought, oh my goodness — they really did it. I couldn't believe it," her mother recalled.

Charlotte couldn't believe that she was the first black girl to be cast as Marie. "Wow. That seems a little late," she said after hearing the news.

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Charlotte's mother believes there's a fine line when it comes to celebrating her daughter's accomplishment.

"It's tough because we have past hurts, past injuries and disappointments," she said, "and you don't necessarily want to color their worldview that way. You want them to approach it with their fresh perspective," she said.

"It really gave me chills thinking about it," she added.

The young ballerina believes her prominent role in the production may inspire other people of color to become involved in the ballet.

"It's pretty amazing to be not only representing S.A.B., but also representing all of our cultures," she told the New York Times. "There might be a little boy or girl in the audience seeing that and saying, hey, I can do that, too."

'Merry Christmas' on YouTube.

The world must have been—mostly—good this year. Because Elton John and Ed Sheeran have teamed up to gift us all with a brand new Christmas single.

The song, aptly named “Merry Christmas,” is a perfect blend of silly and sweet that’s cheery, bright and just a touch bizarre.

Created with the holiday spirit in every way, it has whimsical snowball fights, snow angels (basically all the snow things), festive sweaters, iconic throwbacks and twinkling lights galore. Plus all profits from the tune are dedicated to two charities: the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

I personally don’t know which is more of a highlight: Ed Sheeran channeling his inner-Mariah, performing a faux sexy dance in a leg revealing Santa outfit, or him flying through the air with a giant Frosty the Snowman … who seems to be sporting glasses similar to Elton’s. Are we meant to believe that Elton is the Snowman? This music video even has mystery.
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Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

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The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”

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