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."

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

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