Nutcracker Ballet star dances for grandfather

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By Eric Stetzler

ST JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- This weekend people will flock to the Morris Performing Arts Center to see the classic Nutcracker Ballet, but for one person opening night means something extra special.

It's a family holiday favorite and for 10-year-old Theresa Thomas, it's a family affair. Her 3 siblings, mom, and dad are all in the Nutcracker Ballet.

"It helps me because I don't have to think about what's going on in my life I just have to think about what is going on now,” said Theresa Thomas.

Right now--she's preparing for her big debut as Clara, but it's not the only thing on her mind.

Thomas recently lost her biggest fan --- her grandfather.

"When he died, we had a performance in New Buffalo and so when I went there it helped me a lot because I could dance and just dance and it would get me through it,’ said Thomas.

Thomas says it was hard - but the show must go on.

She was even in a scene that night with her parents - and the rest of her family - the other dancers in the ballet.

The dance company says every performance is special and they cant wait for everyone to see all their hard work, but for Thomas -- she's dancing to honor the memory of someone she loves.

There's still time for you to catch The Nutcracker at the Morris. Performances are Saturday afternoon at 2 and 7 and Sunday at 2 p.m.

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