2015 Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market “Putting on the Ritz”

Guest writer: Alyssa Springer

Thank you to everyone who attended and supported the 2015 Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market “Putting on the Ritz.” It was another successful year, full of glitz and glamour to commemorate the 35th annual event, this year honoring all Nutcracker Market shoppers.

The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market is a signature fundraising event that has become tradition for thousands of shoppers. Every dollar spent at the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market directly benefits the Houston community. Proceeds from each admission and special event ticket purchased, plus ten percent of all the merchandise bought, goes back to the Houston Ballet Foundation, its Academy and Scholarship Programs.

Hear from Alyssa Springer, Houston Ballet corps de ballet dancer, about what it means as a Houston Ballet company dancer to attend Houston Ballet’s largest single-event fundraiser.

Sharhar Dori, Alyssa Springer, Silken Kelly and Dylan Lackey at the 2015 Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market Preview Party.

Was this your first time at the Market?

This was my fourth time attending the Nutcracker Market. I have gone almost every year since I moved to Houston! I even invited my mother to visit one year, and she made a special trip and flew out from California to attend. Nutcracker Market is the perfect place to find something for everyone on your Christmas list. Even without buying anything, it is a wonderful holiday event to experience.

This year, I headed over to the Market right after rehearsals ended Wednesday evening, so I didn’t have a whole lot of time to get into the theme. But I did see many sparkly and glamorous outfits walking around and the decorations were great!

Who did you take as your guest?

My friend, and former Houston Ballet company member, Silken Kelly happened to be visiting at the time, and she was happy to come with me as my guest. Many of the company dancers attended the Preview Party this year, so it was fun to attend all together.

What did you buy?

I have a big sweet tooth, so I bought a mini bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes, and a candied apple from Gourmet Apples & More. In years past, I’ve bought anything from Christmas decorations to jewelry. I’ve been able to buy Christmas gifts for everyone in my family just in one visit!

One of my favorite features of the Nutcracker Market is the uniqueness of many of the items offered. There are many items that I have only been able to find at the Market. One year I found a ring made from the handle of an antique spoon at a booth called “Rustic Attitude,” and after buying Blue Cattle Truck’s Mexican Vanilla another year, I’ve never baked with anything else.

Any interesting aspect that you learned or noticed about the Market?

As a dancer attending the Nutcracker Market, I always feel grateful that something so exciting and fun could benefit me personally. Proceeds from ticket sales and 10% of the merchandise purchased goes back to Houston Ballet Foundation, so I get to keep doing what I love!

How would you describe the Nutcracker Market in your own words?

When I attempt to explain the Nutcracker Market to newcomers, I find that my explanation usually does not do it justice.  It is one of those things that one cannot fully understand until experiencing it personally, because it is so much more than one could imagine. When I visited for the first time, I knew it was a giant holiday shopping extravaganza, but I remember feeling so overwhelmed at the size and at all it had to offer- in the best possible way! The Nutcracker Market is the perfect way to get into the spirit of the season, not only because of the shopping, but because the whole atmosphere buzzes with holiday cheer. The Nutcracker Market easily becomes holiday tradition.

Jacquelyn Long, Mallory Mehaffey, Alyssa Springer, Dylan Lackey pose with artists of Houston Ballet Academy.

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