Tag Archives: Nutcracker

New children’s ballet show roundup for 2014-15

Oh my goodness, we’re getting fidgety toes with excitement here at Twinklesteps HQ because there are sooo many fantastic ballets to take your little people to out there. Do you feel that Autumn nip of late? We all know that when swirls of frosty air start to gather on our doorsteps that Nutcracker season is gathering momentum. Check out our what’s on page for performances.

Not only that, we’ve also seen that a children’s version of Swan Lake by English National Ballet is going on tour next year – yey! With a narrator to help the young audience follow the story, and Tchaikovsky’s wonderful music, this is the perfect way to introduce children to classical ballet. Here’s their gorgeous poster:

My First Ballet Swan Lake English National Ballet

For ballet fans in Leeds you’re in for a treat in October because Northern Ballet has the Elves and the Shoemaker for you (please take this on tour soon Northern Ballet!). Here’s a realy fun clip of their reheasals:

What’s just as exciting is that London Children’s Ballet are performing Snow White again next year. Yippee! Check out some snippets from their 2009 production:

Check out our What’s On page for details of all these ballet shows and do let us know if you hear of any more shows suitable for younger children please ballet fans.

Psssst, we have a secret we’re desperate to start shouting about so watch this space and follow our blog to be the first in the know 😉

Have a lovely week from the Twinklesteps Team

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Twinklesteps Top Tips for a Fun-Filled Christmas

Can you hear the faint tinkling of bells in the distance? With only days to go until the big day we thought it was time for a few very special Twinkle Tips on having a fun-filled Christmas. Have a wonderful, magical Christmas everyone and make sure you follow tip 10 🙂

1)   Before the wrapping paper is cleared away have some fun with it. How about some juggling?

2)   See how many different flavours you can taste all day. Can you make it to 10, or 20!

Twinklesteps Tea Party

3)   Try some creative dancing to your favourite Christmas carols. Can you do a series of sautés to Ding Dong Merrily on High or dance a nautical tale to I Saw Three Ships? Make your own festive head dress using ivy, mistletoe and holly (if you’re careful – ouch!) to get you into character.

4)    Go on the hunt for your very own treasures to hang up as decorations. Here are some of Twinklesteps favourites:

Treasure decorations

5)   Leave a joke for santa. Cheer him up whilst he eats mince pies and sips his sherry before zipping off back up your chimney. How about this one:

Why was Cinderella such a poor football player? She had a pumpkin for a coach!

6)   Use your ballet shoes as a stocking – leave them out and see what goodies santa leaves behind!

Ballet shoes

7)   Try making your own tutu out of tinsel. Tie a bit around your waist and loop a few more pieces over and over it. Can you dance like the sugar plum fairy?

8)   Try some ballet crafts. We love these snowflake ballerinas (template here):

Snowflake Ballerina Craft

Snowflake Ballerina Craft

9)   Worn out? Have some fun and try our dressing up Twinklesteps game.

10)  And finally, make sure you give out plenty of cuddles 😉

twinklesteps and her cat

HAPPY CHRISTMAS from the Twinkle Team xx

Top Christmas pressies for children who love ballet

YIPPEE, Christmas is just around the corner and we’re very excited here in Twinklesteps Land! Inspired by the amount of lovely ballet themed goodies there are out there we thought we’d write you a top ten list of Christmas Presents for children who love ballet, dancing and magical make believe. Some are our own beloved Twinklesteps products and some are things we adore and can’t resist sharing.

1) This very pretty, sparkly ballet skirt, with hundreds of little holograms that sparkle when they catch the light, is a magical must-have!

Sparkly Skirt and wand

Sparkly Skirt and wand

2) This musical box by Enchantmints is gorgeous with loads of compartments for all your treasures.

Enchantmints Ballet School Music Box

Enchantmints Ballet School Music Box

3) This is super cute. A ballerina drinks bottle which is beautifully illustrated and teaches you dance moves. For sale at Dance Wear Central.

Tyrrell Katz Ballet Drinking Bottle

Tyrrell Katz Ballet Drinking Bottle

4) This is a present to treasure. A wooden musical box with figures dancing to Swan Lake. Just gorgeous.

Ballet Theatre Music Box

Ballet Theatre Music Box

5) A perfect size for a santa sack or chunky Christmas stocking, ‘Twinklesteps and the Disappearing Birdsong’ is our recommended Christmas read to get the magic swirling during the festive season. Find out about our very special introductory offer here.

Twinklesteps birdsong ballet book

Twinklesteps birdsong ballet book

6) Another lovely gift from Dancewear Central is this pretty ballet charm bracelet:

Child's charm bracelet

Child’s charm bracelet

7) This is a lovely idea. Get creative with this ballerina doll kit available at Artifolk.

Easy-to-do Doll Making Kit - Ballerina

Easy-to-do Doll Making Kit – Ballerina

8) Hours of fun with this ballerina dress up puzzle by Melissa and Doug, available from Mulberry Bush.

Ballerina Dress Up Peg Puzzle

Ballerina Dress Up Peg Puzzle

9) Beautiful ballerina skipping rope from Makes a Change which will keep your child on their toes! What’s more it’s fair-trade too. Brilliant!

Ballet Dancer Skipping Rope

Ballet Dancer Skipping Rope

10) No Christmas stocking would be complete without a little bottle of fairy dust. Let the magic begin…and for £1.50 you can’t go wrong! Comes with a lovely little note from Twinklesteps, the fairy ballerina 🙂 Find out more here.

Fairy Dust

Fairy Dust

11) Finally, we’re adding a cheeky number 11 which is a link to ideas from Zazzle which would appeal to boys as well as girls. Featuring ideas like this Nutcracker keyring we hope you’ll find something for every ballet mad child 🙂

Nutcracker Keyring

Nutcracker Keyring

For more ballet inspired Christmas goodies and ideas see our Pinterest board ‘Ballet Inspired Christmas‘.

Merry Christmas from the Twinkle Team.

Nutcracker Season – the magic begins

As winter draws in and the nights get darker and darker, clouds of midwinter magic start to swirl, coaxing us out to play. There’s no surer way to sleigh ride you into a festive mood than by going to see ballets most famous winter offering: The Nutcracker.

For those not familiar with the story here’s a super brief version. It’s Christmas Eve and Clara’s Godfather Drosselmeyer brings Clara a beautiful wooden Nutcracker. She falls asleep with it in her arms and wakes up at midnight to a frightening scene. The toys have come to life and Clara’s Nutcracker is leading the soldier toys into battle against the Mouse Army. As the Nutcracker is cornered Clara throws her slipper at the Mouse King and helps defeat him. The Nutcracker turns into a handsome prince and he leads Clara through the moonlit night as snowflakes dance around them. They continue their journey to the Land of Sweets and meet the Sugar Plum Fairy who has been ruling the Land until the Prince’s return. In their honour a celebration of sweets from around the world is held with dancing and festivities. It ends with the famous Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Clara wakes up the next day with the Nutcracker still in her arms. Was it a dream…

Here’s an enchanting version of the Waltz of the Snowflakes by Royal Ballet with a beautifully graceful Clara:

There are some fun craft activities around to get your kids bubbling over with excitement about The Nutcracker. We like these colouring in characters from Pacific NorthWest Ballet and here’s some printable puppets too. We also have adorable Twinklesteps imagining she’s Clara for you to colour in here. If only she could imagine her bunny into a prince…

Don’t forget we have listings for performances of The Nutcracker shown on our Children’s Ballet Events page here. Let us know if you hear of any we need to add. Also, check out our shop for ballet goodies to get your ballerina’s imagination whirring.

Finally, here’s a lovely little clip from Pacific NorthWest Ballet showing young dancers auditioning for The Nutcracker. Worth a look for any budding ballet dancers out there wondering what an audition may be like:

We’d love to know what you think of The Nutcracker and which bits you like best. Let us know by commenting below 🙂

By the Twinkle Team