Ballet AZ Blog

Ballet Arizona Holiday Traditions

Below are a few favorite holiday traditions and memories shared by Ballet Arizona’s Company Dancers and Staff:

  1. The day after Thanksgiving my dad and I would hang the outside Christmas lights of our house and my mom and I would decorate the house on the inside. – Alison Remmers, Dancer
  2. After Christmas dinner, my entire family would all dance to Harry Connick Jr.’s Christmas album. – Jami Kozemczak, Director of Development
  3. Comer Puerco asado, tomar ron, fumar Cubanos y visitar con toda la familia. – Annier Navarro, Dancer
  4. Every year I would bake and make peanut brittle and toffee for my kids and the neighborhood. – Iris Weng, Costume Shop
  5. Making home-made ornaments and decorations for the holidays. – Eric Hipolito, Dancer
  6. When I was a kid, every Christmas Eve my grandma would play the piano and we would all gather around and sing Christmas songs together. – Laura Hish, Accounting Manager
  7. My family never did a big Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner. We always woke up on Christmas morning, exchanged gifts, and then made a huge brunch together. Sometimes we stay in our pjs for hours drinking more coffee and mimosas and playing games. So I think that Christmas brunch is my favorite holiday tradition. – Jillian Barrell, Dancer
  8. Christmas Eve in New York my mom would invite everyone who didn’t have a place to go for dinner. We did it for probably 12 years. – Michael Panvini, Director of Production
  9. We did everything last minute, decorating, wrapping presents and we usually put the tree up on Christmas day. We are very nocturnal so we would always sleep-in Christmas morning. – Connor Cohen, Dancer
  10. Ever since we were young, every Christmas day my sister and I wear matching Santa hats. – Jackson Dwyer, Dancer
  11. Every Christmas night we would all go down to the basement and put on National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. – Robert Bondlow, Major Gifts Officer
  12. I have a large family so when we were kids we would rent a 15 passenger van and we’d go to different neighborhoods and go see the Christmas lights and after we would go get pizza and fried zucchini for dinner. – Joseph Cavanaugh – Ballet Master & Community Outreach Manager
  13. My favorite memory is sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen with my whole family in an assembly line making dozens of tamales from Christmas dinner. – Natalie Salvione, Development Associate
  14. Growing up with a summer Christmas (in Australia) was all I ever knew. I remember when I was living in DC waking up to a snowy Christmas sky. It changed Christmas for me. It was an amazing and surreal experience. –Amber Lewis, Dancer


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