Lubbock native returns home to play Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker ballet

Published: Dec. 24, 2021 at 7:45 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock native Lori Wilson returned home to play the Sugar Plum Fairy in Lubbock Ballet’s Nutcracker at Buddy Holly Hall this season, to perform in front of her mentor, and the audience she loves.

Lori said it was a dream come true. She began dancing for Lubbock Ballet when she was six-years old.

“Just growing up seeing all the sugar plum fairies before me was something really special to me,” Wilson said. “It always holds a really special place in my heart to be able to come back to Lubbock and perform this role with the school that I grew up with”

Over a decade into her career, she is the lead ballerina for a company in St. Louis. Wilson said it was exciting and nerve-racking to return to Lubbock and perform for her childhood instructor.

“To perform for Yvonne, it’s always still a little nerve-wracking because she was my teacher growing up. I feel like I still have to prove myself to her, but it’s just a really special role. I hope that I can live up to those expectations that I had in my head when I was little, and I hope that I represent Lubbock,” Wilson said.

Wilson grew up performing at the Civic Center, but when show day came around, she had no idea she would be able to perform at the new Buddy Holly Hall.

“The stage is massive, bigger than the stage that I dance on here with St. Louis ballet. I remember the first time I stepped on the stage, I was like, I hope I can dance big enough to fill out this stage,” Wilson said.

Although Wilson was nervous to perform on a large stage with her childhood teacher watching on the sidelines, Wilson said, those nerves washed away with every cheer from the crowd.

“The audience in Lubbock is like none other, they just love it. They know that they can clap and cheer, and I just feel their energy every time I’m on stage. I just feel like, I hope I’m giving back enough because I know that literally everybody in the audience is just sitting on the edge of their seat. As a performer, you can feel that energy,” Wilson said.

Wilson is grateful for the Lubbock audience, and for all the sold out shows she was able to perform in.

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