It all began on the third of December when the Royal Ballet came together to perform its most magical ballet of the year: The Nutcracker.

In a spectacularly beautiful building, each year the Royal Ballet puts on the much loved Nutcracker; with the whole company and the addition of the school’s students, it is the largest and trickiest ballet to stage of all. Starting off at a dinner party, The Nutcracker is a tale of fantasy, love and, well, feeling Christmassy. Clara and The Nutcracker prince, Hans Peter, journey from defeating large mice to the land of the snowflakes to being rewarded with an extravaganza of wonderful dances from the Kingdom Of Sweets. It is truly a phenomenal spectacle.  

I was lucky enough to see this production live at the beginning of January. That particular performance was Royal Ballet soloist, Emma-Jane Maguire’s last spell-binding performance as Clara as she is now retired after a great career. A meeting with the director Kevin O’Hare confirmed this sad news.  

Ballet is often classified as too ‘posh’’ or ‘only for girls’. Something that goes amiss is the fact that once you are lost in a ballet, there is no feeling like it. The grace and athleticism of the dancers is quite extraordinary. Despite the alleged stigma, a wider range of people are beginning to enjoy ballet thanks to schemes like ‘Chance To Dance’ in which children across the country are given the opportunity to dance at a prestigious school of ballet and watch productions for free.

At the end of the performance, I was able to meet Lauren Cuthbertson, a principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, who had given a stunning performance as the Sugar Plum Fairy. She told me “it might be January but as soon as the performance begins, it immediately feels like Christmas.”

Performing popular classics such as the Nutcracker really opens up the world of ballet to all. Even if you don’t like the ballet itself, Tchaikovsky's music is breathtaking. The Royal Ballet have yet again put on a jaw-dropping, beautiful ballet.