An American Girl’s night at the ballet


Wednesday evening looked like a dream turned reality at SPAC—lovely, sparkling ballerinas by the dozen and countless pint-sized, well-behaved and well-dressed little ladies. Oh, and let’s not forget the hundreds of little girls, decked out in their pretty summer dresses for a night at the ballet.

American Girl dolls were the guest of honor at the New York City Ballet’s performance of Jewels, a trilogy of arrangements entitled “Emeralds,” “Rubies” and “Diamonds.” The annual event known as American Girl Night, has a notably kid-friendly atmosphere, bringing together two longtime little girl favorites.

But before the performance got underway, it was all about the dolls—hugely popular for nearly three decades now—and the brand’s latest release, Lea Clark. And get this: Ten dolls were up for grabs, courtesy of a raffle offered directly by American Girl.

Which, naturally, left ten little girls beaming and toting giant bags into the amphitheater, and many others in tears, or halfway to tears. Thank goodness there were cookies and lemonade on hand, courtesy of Price Chopper, and an assortment of tutus, wands, crowns and doll outfits up for sale at mini G. Willikers and Miss Scarlett boutiques, which meant that moms and grandmas could still send their little ballerinas home with something special.

Everywhere you looked there was a doll in tow—or tucked into a backpack, or plopped on the ground, or thrust into a mother’s arms. After all, there were craft stations and hula hoops and plenty of green space to frolic, all of which require free hands.

In the words of Viviana from Ballston Spa, an “almost” five-year-old who attended the performance with her mother, grandmother and aunt: “I think tonight is amazing!” She wore a pink poodle dress for the occasion, as did one of her dolls. But because it was important she not play favorites, Viviana scored a third poodle dress at the boutique tent for her other American Girl doll, Rebecca for a future night out.