Lindsey Park is wrapping up a busy month.
The Lane School fifth grader is part of the cast of Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Opera House. She portrays a little mouse in the battle scene in act one, and one of Mother Ginger’s Polichinelles, who begin act two hidden under her giant hoop skirt.
The shows, which began Thanksgiving weekend, continue through Dec. 31.
“I’m always really excited to go on stage,” she said during a recent telephone interview. “Talking with other people in the cast, we say to each other, ‘It’s going to be a great show.’”
Lindsey is the daughter of Hakyoung Lee and Junho Park. This is her second year in the cast.
She was scheduled to dance in 15 performances during this cycle of the classic December landmark. The production is always the same, she said, but “each one feels unique because each crowd is different, and you get different reactions.”
Lindsey said she began her experience with dance when she was two, though she admitted she doesn’t remember much more than “running around the studio” at the Boston Ballet School. She noted that she used to go to work there with her mother, who has been a pianist for the school for almost 20 years.
At first it was “more like a hobby,” she said, but around third grade, “I started to do more serious ballet dance.
Now she participates in regular classes three times a week at Boston Ballet’s Newton studio. This was augmented during “Nutcracker” preparations with rehearsals four or five days a week. This year, with the two roles, “there’s more to do.”
“Children’s roles in ballet shows were eliminated during the COVID period, but reopened last year,” Lee said. Lindsey auditioned for The Nutcracker for the first time and was selected for the role of a Polichinelle. She also had a role in last spring’s Boston Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty.
Lindsey said she’s pretty good at time management, but now that rehearsals have ended, she has more time to be with friends. She also has made friends with fellow dancers during performances. “You get a lot of wait-time backstage, so we hang out and make a lot of new friends.”
Lindsey plans to audition for an intense American Ballet summer program. “You get to go to New York for about a week and get a really thorough ballet learning experience,” she remarked.
Looking to the distant future, Lindsey said, “I’ve always thought of becoming a professional dancer, but I also have other hobbies, like music.” One thing for sure, she said, is she looks forward to playing more roles in The Nutcracker.