I love to dance. As a 7th grader I took ballroom dance lesson where I learned the Cha-Cha, the Foxtrot, the Waltz and the Jitter Bug. I’ve endured the face-off of boys standing on one wall and the girls standing on the opposite wall waiting to be asked to dance. I waited wondering if I will be chosen or will I sit this one out? Will he hold me too tight? Can I follow his steps? Will I embarrass him or me? What happens when the dance is over?

My mother signed me up for tap dance lessons but tap did not ignite a fire in me to dance. I could not figure out what I would ever do with tap dancing. Secretly, I dreamed of being a ballerina in all its classical beauty and form. There is a level of dignity and majesty that even as a young girl I recognized to be a part of ballet. I didn’t feel ballet was something I could attain or even verbalize. I was afraid my dream would be ridiculed or laughable. I kept it to myself. After all I was the Tomboy of the family getting recognition in sports, especially swimming. My closest blush with ballet was in synchronized swimming where I could execute a perfect double ballet leg among many other precise skills. I came close to my dream yet not quite…until, my oldest granddaughter, Ellie, began to perform in the art of ballet.

I remember watching Ellie trying out many forms of dance as a young girl. I loved her rythynm and her carefree spirit that took to dance with no angst or apprehension. It wasn’t until she started ballet and point that I discovered the sheer elegance and vulnerability that accompanied her onto the stage.

My first realization was a few years ago when she performed in “The Nutcracker” for a Christmas performance. She was the ballerina who came alive as she stepped off the top of the music box to dance. She was beautiful, graceful and commanded center stage. She took my breath away as she began to twirl and to leap all the while with her arms poised around her body. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her and goose bumps broke out on my body. I recognized in that moment that Ellie was dancing her dream. It was glorious to see and I was so proud of her.

the nutcracker

I love watching Ellie live out a dream that was once mine. She doesn’t know that about her Mimi. Until now…I kept that secret well. I’ve observed her mature with her dedication to ballet and I’ve noticed the sacrifices she makes to keep herself in top performance. She drinks no soda…it is not good for her bones and her body. She is quick to inform the pedicurist to leave the calluses alone on her feet. Those calluses serve a purpose and were formed through a lot of hard work. She knows what she wants and is not afraid to use her voice. I love that about her.

“The Nutcracker” will always be a favorite of mine to relish and enjoy…all because of Ellie. I’ll be watching and thinking of her as I attend a performance of “The Nutcracker” next month in London. I’m living my dream in ways I never thought possible. I love the goodness this brings into my life. I love that God has awakened my childhood dream through the dream of another, my Ellie.

May you find your dreams come alive this Christmas. May you expect the unexpected? I have and it just so happens to be the magical dance of ballet.


MJMary Jane Hamilton has grown to love her sense of style and her peaceful lake living. Mother of 2 and grandmother of 6, she has a wonderful capacity to love and is still active as The Tooth Fairy. She is extremely fond of her dachshunds, who rarely venture from her lap, and enjoys biking with her husband of 44 years. She is rekindling her writing skills and finding it life giving.
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