My Grown-Up Dancer Holiday Wishlist

by Nichelle Strzepek from

I’m the worst when it comes to gift requests. Just ask my family members. When the holiday gift probe starts going out, I generally shrug. It’s not that I’m too modest to solicit presents. Maybe I just have a poor ‘want it’ reflex. I rarely have something in mind when pressed. My mom says I’ve always been that way.

I do covet a few things though. Often they’re dance-related. So, when Catherine asked me to share my Holiday Wishlist, it wasn’t too hard to come up with 6 things. Should Santa want to leave these under my tree this year, I wouldn’t complain!

joffrey dvd

History Without The Boring

I saw Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance when it came to Houston last Spring and it’s definitely one I want to have in my dance library. This documentary immediately pulls the viewer into the origin story of Joffrey Ballet.

Over 50 years old and frequently on the cutting edge of ballet, the Chicago dance company has continued to rise and move forward despite all kinds of obstacles. The documentary is extremely engaging – a great film to share with students or those new to the dance world, but equally compelling for the dance aficionado.

And, because of my early support and sharing of the film’s release, I appear in the credits! Seriously, why is this not on my shelf already?

ballet necklaceBeauty On A Chain

Last year, Santa brought me Tina Tarnoff’s Great Dancers necklace, featuring Margot, Maya, Isadora, Anna & Martha in silhouette. The images are tiny reproductions of Tarnoff’s papercut series.

This year, I have my eye on her single pendant necklace depicting Sylvie Guillem in a marvelous back attitude. The classical tutu and antique-looking silver pendant base, is a romantic and lovely piece that’s sure to get compliments.

Daily Inspiration

There are always a few dance calendars that become popular around the holidays but Lois Greenfield’s Breaking Bounds wall calendars never disappoint.

The dancers, rather than any particular dance form, are the hallmark of Greenfield’s images, which are always beautiful, powerful, and mesmerizing. Breaking Bounds 2013 is a calendar that would inspire me every day of the month.

lois greenfield calendarlois greenfield photography



Say ‘No’ To Black

I’ll admit my comfy dance wardrobe includes far too little color. Jo+Jax to the rescue!

Their Let’s Move sweatpants remind me of candy or those bright and bold Crayola markers I loved using as a kid. I love the mint color, though they come in a vibrant purple too. I’d feel way more cute dropping my Kindergartener off at school in these, than black, navy, or charcoal yoga pants.


I’d Be Laughing At Clouds

The quintessential American musical classic, Singin’ In The Rain, celebrated its 60th Anniversary this year in theatres, on television, and now on disc.

singing in the rain collectors dvdThe Singin’ In The Rain: 60th Anniversary Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) includes 48 page hard cover production book with never-before-seen memos and photos, theatrical poster reproductions, documentaries and outtakes, and even an umbrella!

There’s also commentary by Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Cyd Charisse, Kathleen Freeman, Stanley Donen, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Baz Luhrmann, and Rudy Behlmer. Oh, if only Gene Kelly were still with us to offer his thoughts!

Snow in Texas

dancer snowglobeYeah, pretty much the only snow I’m likely to see in Houston this winter is the kind that falls when I shake a pretty glass ball.

Ballet dancers and snow globes go together like peanut butter and chocolate. I know some serious collectors of these knickknacks. I’m not one of them, mainly because sparkly tutus don’t normally excite me that much.

The Dancer snow globe from CoolSnowGlobes is ballet bric-a-brac I can get behind though. Degas’ little chin-jutting, slightly hunched dancer has always been a favorite. Vermont artists, Liz and David, who develop a limited edition snow globe collection each year, craft this globe. There’s still no snow in sight, but that’s okay, it sparkles!

Crossed Off The List

I’ve already purchased a few of these delightful Nutcracker cards to give to some special dance friends this season, but I can’t resist including a link to their Etsy seller, The Artful Bumblebee. The artist, Deborah, is not a dancer but a fan of the art form. She beautifully captures the whimsy of The Nutcracker with an excellent eye for correct placement. I can’t wait to deliver season’s greetings with these sweet little cards but they can be ordered as posters, too, if you prefer!

nutcracker cards

Do you have any favorite dance gifts to share? Please leave a comment below!

Want to see what Catherine put on her list? Visit

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Catherine L. Tully is the owner/editor at To learn more about Catherine and the other contributors at 4dancers, see the "Contributor" tab at the top of the page. To reach Catherine, send an e-mail to info (at) 4dancers (dot) org

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