Day 11: Meet 10 Year Old MaKenna
From the Nominator:
Makenna is ten years old and lives in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. When Makenna was born, her parents were informed that she had Down Syndrome. Ever since that moment, Makenna has stolen the heart of every single person she has met.
Makenna has not let Down Syndrome affect her in any way. She takes dance, gymnastics, and cheer just like every little girl her age. She is full of life and you can’t help but smile when you are around her. She makes the world a better place just by being in it.
Prestonsburg is a very small, close-knit community. Her mom’s dance studio traditionally performs The Nutcracker Ballet and it has been MaKenna’s dream to be Clara.
To fulfill her dream, the staff of the theater and many others facilitated a “special performance” for MaKenna, which shows just how much this little girl means to our little town.
From MaKenna’s Mom:
Makenna has loved the Nutcracker for years and has it memorized. Around October this year she developed a serious obsession with being Clara, or “Claria” as she calls her. For some reason, she was convinced that she was going to be playing Clara in the show this year.
Through all the Nutcracker rehearsals this year, she pouted and asked when was it her turn to be “Claria.” I reluctantly decided to get one of our old Clara dresses and let her do a quick ten-minute performance after our Thursday Matinee.
I thought MaKenna could simply put on the dress, do the pas de deux and ride in the sleigh. I asked the dancer who played the prince if he would stay for a few minutes and he agreed, along with a couple of other dancers.
When the dancers got in place, I discovered that word of this “special performance” had spread like wildfire. To my surprise, the tech crew was still in place, there was someone to open the curtain, run the lights, play the music and even to “grow” the tree.
I was even more surprised to realize there was a good-sized audience of my dancers and their parents who stayed to share this moment. Phones and cameras were poised and ready as the curtain opened.
MaKenna took her performance very seriously. The child did not miss a beat and even added some dramatic flair. The look on her face was pure joy. This was truly the highlight of my child’s life. I don’t believe their was a dry eye in the audience.
MaKenna was greeted in the hallway by numerous teary-eyed dancers and parents who wanted to congratulate her and take pictures. She was so proud of herself. The performance was very short, but the memories will last a lifetime.