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In Maryland, the American Dance Institute is mounting a performance of "The Nutcracker" for a group of very special children.
The Children's Inn at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda is a residential, home away from home for kids undergoing treatment at NIH and their families. The staff at ADI in Rockville invited the kids to see the institute's first complete presentation of "The Nutcracker."
"It really is a wonderful way for families to forget the real reasons why the come for treatment," says Meredith Carson Daly, a spokesperson for the Children's Inn. "This gets them away and it's a fun outing, and everyone loves to see 'The Nutcracker' on the holidays."
Originally from Louisiana, Rachel Teasley is living with an auto-immune condition. She attended the performance with her mom, Glenda, and got the last available seats.
"The soldier dancing with the little girl [was my favorite part]...It's just beautiful and kind of romantic in a way," she says.
A second show is planned at NIH for patients who are not mobile.