REGION — A San Marcos ballet school’s performance of “The Nutcracker” has been a holiday custom for more than 40 years in North County. This year, an Oceanside family will establish a tradition of its own by performing together in New West Ballet School’s classic holiday production.
When she was 12, Oceanside resident Lauren Smith starred as Clara in New West’s “The Nutcracker,” an 1892 classical ballet by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky set on Christmas Eve.
Nearly 30 years later, Smith’s entire family is dancing on stage. This year, Smith will perform as the Dew Drop Fairy alongside her daughters Hailey, starring as Clara, and 5-year-old Ella, and her husband, Devin, who was cast as part of the ballet’s party scene.
This is the first time the entire family has performed in the show together. Smith recalled when her parents also played roles in the show when she was young.
“Some of my fondest memories come from participating in ‘The Nutcracker,’” Smith said. “It takes me back to when I was a child, and now here I am with both of my girls. It’s like a gift.”
Hailey is playing Clara at the same age Smith was first cast in the role, even wearing the exact same costume her mother wore, making this year’s performance a dream come true for the pair.
“Clara is my dream role,” Hailey said.
Hailey, who shares a close bond with her mother, considers playing the same role and dancing alongside her an honor.
“It feels really special to me,” Hailey said.
New West Ballet’s rendition of “The Nutcracker” will be accompanied by a full orchestra during its performances on Nov. 24 and Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts, located at 1598 Espola Road in Poway.
An additional matinee performance on Saturday at 2 p.m. will offer an abridged, kid and sensory-friendly version.
Tickets range from $2 to $42 and are available at http://www.newwestballet.com/Events/.