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Aspiring Ballerinas Dance 'The Nutcracker' with Pros

By Serena Dai | December 9, 2012 6:37pm

DOWNTOWN — Young ballerinas in tutus and leotards pirouetted with professional dancers for an annual holiday tradition—the Dance-Along Nutcracker.

About 2000 parents, grandparents, and young girls went to Chicago Cultural Center Saturday to dance with members of Ballet Chicago. It was the 12th year for the event. Aspiring ballerinas lifted their arms and twirled on tippy toes as the Lakeside Pride Symphonic Band played classics from the holiday ballet. 

"It's been what they call a 'cute overload'," said Jack McLarnan, the program coordinator for the Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in Chicago. "Just a lot of little kids very enthusiastically throwing themselves into ballet."

Six-year-olds Marcy and Grace Davis even drove down all the way from Kenosha, Wisc., to attend the event, spending the night with their grandparents John and Patti Davis in suburban Buffalo Grove. The twins have been taking ballet lessons for three years and were thrilled to dance at the event for the first time.

Marcy's favorite moment? "The Sugar Plum Fairy," she said.