Photograph Paul Kolnik

You’ve been dancing ballet since you were 2 years old, do you remember what you liked best about ballet in the beginning?

I remember liking dancing around the room. I was always dancing.

What is your favorite thing about being a ballerina?

The Nutcracker. I also love the School of American Ballet, all the teachers and being there with all the kids.

When did you first see “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” at New York City Ballet? What did you love most about it?

I was two years old and my parents told me that I sat and stared amazed.

When you were watching the Nutcracker did ever you imagine that you would be dancing in it at age 9?

We went every year and I definitely thought I would like to be in it!

What were the auditions like?

We auditioned in September. It was 6 hours. They do each role one at a time. You have to fit the costume for the part.

How long do you have to wait before you know if you got in?

They tell you right away. You walk out with your schedule if you get the part.

Daisy Nussbaum

Tell us about your role as an Angel, what is the best part?

I have to glide and dance across the stage. I love my costume and the props. We have to hold mini Christmas trees.

What does your costume look like?

It’s a huge ball gown with a hoop at the bottom, wings, and a halo. It only takes 5 minutes to get dressed because they set it up right there on the floor. You step into it and then you’re ready.

What was your first performance like?

It was really cool. I wasn’t nervous at all.

What has been the best part about being in the Nutcracker?

One of the best parts has been getting to meet the other kids and the adult dancers. Sterling Hyltin and Tiler Peck both have danced when I’m on the stage—that’s pretty fantastic. During the dress rehearsal, Peter Martins was even right there with us.

Would you like to perform in the Nutcracker next year? Definitely. Next year I would like to be in the party scene.

For tickets to The New York City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, please visit