Meet the Dancers: Grace Skinner

Grace will be dancing in ‘Twas the Night Before Nutcracker in 2021. Learn more about her below!

How many years have you performed in The Nutcracker?
I have been in the Nutcracker for five amazing years now!

How old were you when you saw The Nutcracker for the first time?
Believe it or not, the first time I saw The Nutcracker, I was two years old. It became a Christmas tradition for my mom and I to watch the show together every year, until the first year I was in the show in 2016. Since then, she has been coming to watch without me – but we will do it again once I graduate!

Favourite Nutcracker backstage tradition?
It’s so hard for me to choose my favourite Nutcracker backstage tradition, but I would have to say it would be closing night. We get dressed up all silly and do our most fun warm-ups with the entire cast (and even the crew sometimes), and listen to upbeat Christmas music to hype us up for our last show. This is always my favourite part of the show, and I look forward to it every year!

Favourite Nutcracker puppet?
My favourite Nutcracker puppet is definitely a tie between Jack Frost (Spirit of Winter) and the Russian doll. Although I’ve never worked with Jack Frost, I always love hearing the audience “ohh” and “ahh” when they open the curtains to present him. It really is an amazing sight when he appears. I have worked with the Russian doll, and I can’t help but smile every time he pops up from his box and the entire auditorium erupts with laughter and joy. He is definitely my favourite puppet to work with.

Real tree or fake tree?
I’m a real tree person, for sure!

Gift bag or gift wrap?
I love wrapping and unwrapping my gifts. I find it so satisfying to me.

Hot chocolate with or without marshmallows?
Hot chocolate with no marshmallows is not hot chocolate, in my opinion.

Favourite holiday cookie?
I look forward to gingerbread people and houses every holiday season. They are, by far, my favourite cookie.

What do you love about dance?
My favourite part about dance would have to be the people that I do it with. I absolutely love the feeling I get when I dance, but it would not be the same for me if I didn’t have the amazing friends and teachers that I get to be with everyday. They inspire me and remind me why I love dance. I’m so grateful to be surrounded by so many supportive and loving people in and out of the studio.

What does The Nutcracker mean to you?
I don’t think anyone will ever really be able to understand how much this show and everyone involved in it means to me! Every year, I count down the days to auditions, the cast list being posted, the start of rehearsals, and finally the shows. The Nutcracker really is the most amazing part of the year for me, and not having that source of happiness and relief has been hard for me and so many others this year. Although this pause was sad and unexpected, I can not wait for us to come back bigger and better and even more joyful next season!