Ballet AZ Blog

Ballet Arizona’s Holiday Traditions

From A Couple of Our Company Dancers

Natalie Ramirez’s Traditions

As the holidays approach us, Natalie would like to share a few of her favorite holiday traditions. Of course, no winter season is complete without The Nutcracker, which she has participated in since she was eight, and really gets her into the holiday spirit. Soon after The Nutcracker season is over, Natalie and her family celebrate Christmas on December 24th, known as “Nochebuena.” On Nochebuena they all have dinner, play games and watch holiday movies, and once it hits midnight- they open their Christmas gifts.

Natalie Ramirez
Photographer: Ron Brewer

The Ramirez’s also celebrate Dia de Los Reyes on January 6th, that date falls exactly 12 days after Christmas. Where children (or kids at heart like Natalie) leave out their shoes on the night of the 5th under the Christmas tree or by a window. On the 6th, the children open their gifts left by or inside their shoes from the three wise men. We also celebrate by eating a traditional cake known as the Rosca de Los de Reyes (Three Kings Bread), which is a circular sweet bread sprinkled with sugar and dried fruits and served with some hot chocolate. Inside the bread has a little plastic baby, if you get the baby in your slice, you have to cook tamales for everyone on February 2nd known as Candelaria Day.

Sarah Dinz’s Traditions

The holiday season is one of Sarah’s favorite times of the year! For her, being around friends, family, and people she loves is most important- but there are some fun traditions she likes to carry on each year.

Since she grew up in and have family in New Jersey, she often travels back home in the holiday season. Other than being with family, her favorite thing to do when she’s back home is taking the train into Manhattan and visit all the holiday spots! The Rockefeller tree, the window displays at Macy’s and a snowy Central Park are all must-sees!

Sarah Diniz
Photographer: Ron Brewer

Something else Sarah and her family would always do, when she was growing up was collect a new nutcracker statue each holiday season. Sometimes they would pick out themed ones that matched whatever she was dancing in her school’s The Nutcracker production that year. They built up such a large collection that they had to stop buying new ones, but they still put up their not so little “army” of Nutcrackers every year as part of their decorations for the season.





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