Fifteen adults and children affiliated with the Birth & Beyond playgroup, anxiously moved to their seats at the Santa Clara Convention Center for the matinee performance of the Nutcracker on December 9. Uncertain of what to expect, they made themselves comfortable and settled in for what was the first live ballet most had ever attended. Initially, when offered the chance to attend the ballet free of charge, only one mom seized upon the opportunity. However, her peers soon followed with excitement in anticipation of attending the Nutcracker Ballet with their children.
Christine Ibanez has been the Birth & Beyond pregnancy resource center’s director for the last one and a half years. She is a ballerina who formerly danced with the Salt Lake City, Utah Ballet. Christine came out of “ballet retirement” to dance in the Nutcracker earlier this month. Wanting to combine her love for ballet with her love for the families who utilize the Birth & Beyond center, she invited them to attend the Nutcracker Ballet as her guests.
Jaqeline Buendia and her three-year old daughter are members of the Birth and Beyond playgroup. She attended the ballet with her husband and three children and had this to say about their experience:
“My family and I had a wonderful time. My daughters enjoyed the ballet so much; they were so excited! What an opportunity it was to attend this performance and see how ballet can communicate so many beautiful emotions.”
Birth & Beyond, is a pregnancy resource center, and additionally sponsors a weekly playgroup where moms and their children (0-3) meet Wednesdays at 1 p.m. at 12 N. White Rd., Suite 5 in San Jose.
Playgroups include discussion of a parenting or pregnancy topic and an interactive craft or activity related to parenting or child development. One recent activity promoted parent/child bonding where mothers wrote letters to their children communicating their hopes and dreams for their futures.
Few activities inspire more dreams than dance and music; coincidentally, the Nutcracker storyline is all about one child’s dream. Perhaps one visit to the Nutcracker Ballet is all it will take to generate a new dream for one of these young children.
For more information, please visit: www.jdwcenter.org.