The Christmas Shoes celebrates 10 years!
The Christmas Shoes has been uplifting families since 2012 and will return to the stage on December 17. “When we first premiered the Christmas Shoes, it was never my intent to keep doing it, but every year we saw ways to improve and expand it and it has grown into something we all love and look forward to every year”, says Founding Director Princess Johnson.
Just as many arts lovers look towards the Nutcracker, there are many people who have begun to make The Christmas Shoes a tradition for their family. The show includes modern day Christmas music and a meaningful storyline that is sure to warm hearts.
The Christmas Shoes was conceived when Princess Johnson and a volunteer (now employee), Daniele Herbin, were sitting trying to decide what to do about a Christmas performance. Herbin suggested The Christmas Shoes as a song to include in the show. At first, Johnson was not interested in including that song in the line up, but when she went home that night she thought about why that song was so important to Herbin and the meaning behind it.
Herbin’s mom had been battling with colon cancer for about 2 years and this song just so happened to be her mother's - Ruby Brewington's - favorite Christmas song. The song is about a man who is shopping and not really in the holiday mood. He's frustrated with the commercialism of Christmas. While he was in a store he sees a little boy standing in line who appears to be very excited about his purchase. When the little boy gets to the register he does not have enough money. He turns around to the man behind him and explains that he is buying the shoes for his dying mother so that she will look beautiful when she goes to heaven. The man pays for the shoes and in that instant realizes that Christmas isn't about the physical presents we receive, but the presence and gifts of love, family, and friendship.
The production intertwines favorite holiday songs around the story and tells it from the perspective of the child. Ruby Brewington was able to see her daughter and grand-daughter perform in the very first run of the show in 2012. Six months later she passed away. Ever since then, The Christmas Shoes has been the holiday tradition of Royal Expressions as way to spread love and hope as many families cope with the loss of loved ones during the holiday season.
This year, in honor of the ten year anniversary, there will be two shows on December 17, 2022 at Guilford College – Dana Auditorium. The 1:30 pm show cast includes all students at Royal Expressions School of Dance with Atiyah Wright as the mother for the first time , and 7 year old Elani Page as the little girl. The 6:00 pm show will be very special. Daniele Herbin will debut as the mom with her 8 year old daughter Payton Herbin. The Brewington Family, which consists of 10 children that Ruby birthed, their spouses, their children, and her husband will be in attendance. The children started a nonprofit Ruby’s Kids which donates Christmas gifts every year to families in need. This year, Royal Expressions will sponsor a family to support through Ruby’s Kids. There will also be community dance classes offered November 9, 16, 30 and December 7 to build community and support for families dealing with terminal illness during the holiday season. The workshops are free and open to the public as a way to offer healing and support through dance.
Tickets will go on sale November 1 at http://tinyurl.com/reboxoffice
Please continue to support our overall goal of $25,000 to create a small endowment for the purpose of paying our dance artists for many years to come. All too often we hear of major, regional dance companies closing due to not having a funding structure set up to support the artists, this is especially a threat now. We want to change our narrative and do better by our dancers. Thank you for your support of our wonderful dance artists of Greensboro, NC!
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