Monday, December 22, 2014

Alvin Ailey Family Matinee Performance Giveaway And The Importance of Exposing Children to Theater

AAADT in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. AAADT's Photos by Andrew Eccles, Gert Krautbauer, and James R. Brantley.
"Mommy, is it time for Wade In The Water yet?" Aiden whispers to me as we sit in our seats at NY City Center waiting for the second number of the evening.

We always come here around this time of year for one thing: The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. It's become part of our holiday tradition and Aiden's become very familiar with the timeless masterpiece, Revelations, one of the most respected ballets in the history of dance. (Seriously, it just gets better with time and I get something different out of it every time I see it.)

"Not yet. And shh... there's no talking right now." I whisper back to him.

The folks sitting in front of us turn around and chuckle at Aiden's question.

"So sorry." I whisper and shrug my shoulders.

"It's okay." One of them reply back. "Cute kid."

I was a freshman in college when I had my first experience with live theater. I was apart of the New York Times College Scholarship Program and the program organizers took a few of us who were going to college in NYC to a show. I remember being nervous and excited to go to the show... all at the same time. I remember changing my outfit several times before deciding on a dark denim jeans and a fitted top. I remember thinking that live theater was something only rich folks enjoyed.

When Aiden was born, I vowed to expose him to live theater at an early age. I mean, if we're gonna live in NYC, then we better live in NYC. He's seven and he and I have been going to the theater ever since he was old enough to sit still for a show. And we've been going to see Alvin Ailey for the past three years because the dancers move and groove like dance is in their soul, their spirit, and their very DNA.

It makes me feel, it makes me think, and it takes me to places beyond the four walls of the NY City Center. To say that it's always a powerful experience for me to see the Alvin Ailey dance company is an understatement. 

I love every... single... second... of an Ailey performance!

Even though the couple in front of us thinks Aiden's comment is cute, I want him to know that there's a time to whisper something in my ear, a time to clap, and a time for intermission.

And... there's also a time to stare in awe and feel the energy of the dancers on stage. During the explosive pieces Bad Blood and Episodes (both choreographed by Ulysses Dove), it's that time to stare in awe, get inspired to feel something, and sway in your seats as the dancers take you on a journey with them.

Sometimes people ask me for tips and tricks for taking a small child to the theater. And my one piece of advice to them is always the same: don't be afraid; just do it. And keep doing it until you get it "right," whatever that means.

Sometimes Aiden claps when it's not "time" to clap yet; sometimes he shifts a lot in his seat; sometimes his little legs move so much that they kick the chair in front of him and I'm constantly apologizing on his behalf; sometimes he needs to get up to go to the bathroom at the wrong time; sometimes he talks to me too loudly; heck, sometimes he talks to the performers on stage. Loudly. 

But, it's not about perfection. It's about exposure. It's about learning new things. It's about getting some culture.

If you're looking for a way to exposure your littles to live theater this holiday season, Alvin Ailey's Family Matinee series is a great way to do so! With a start time of 2pm and a question-and-answer session with Ailey's dancers afterwards, it's perfect for audiences of all ages! It's such a great way to enjoy the magic that is Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and will make for the perfect holiday gift.

The 2014 season of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will run through January 4, 2015 at NY City Center (131 West 55th Street). Tickets start at just $25, and the length of each show varies depending on the day/time.

AAADT’s Yannick Lebrun and Sarah
AAADT's photos by Andrew Eccles, Gert Krautbauer, and James R. Brantley.


Because it's the holiday season (and because I love Ailey -- and you! -- so much), I'm giving away a pair (2) of tickets to one of the Family Matinee performances to one lucky reader. The shows that are left for this season are as follows:
  1. Saturday, December 27th at 2pm -- Polish Pieces, Awassa Astrige/Ostrich, Episodes, Revelations
  2. Saturday, January 3rd at 2pm -- Ailey/Ellington: Night Creature, Pas de Duke, The River, Revelations (Aiden and I saw this show last year and it was simply spectacular. Read my review here.)
To enter:
  1. In order to enter the giveaway, leave a comment below saying who you'd take to the show with you. (Must leave your email address in order for me to contact you if you win!)
  2. For a second entry, follow Mommy Delicious on Instagram and leave a separate comment below saying you've done so. (Must also leave your Instagram handle in the comment so it can be verified.)
Because of the quick turnaround needed, this giveaway will end on Wednesday, December 24th at 12pm. 

Good luck! And Happy Holidays!

UPDATE: Winner selected. Congratulations to Gloria -- please look out for an email with further instructions. 

{Disclaimer: This post is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed herein are my own. Thanks so supporting Mommy Delicious.}


  1. I HAVE to win these! lol Seriously, I've had two tickets sitting in the cart since Wednesday just unsure if Chunks will sit through a show and really love it. I went often as a child and still remember how amazing it was. Great giveaway!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I followed on instagram. My handle is @GloriaMalone

  4. (Not sure if my first comment posted) I would take my daughter, Leilani, with me to see Ailey/Ellington: Night Creature, Pas de Duke, The River, Revelations. I remember you and Aiden going last year and have been wanting to take Leilani to an Alvin Ailey show since. Happy holidays.

  5. I would take my 3 year old god daughter. As a child my mother would take us to see a live show ever so often. I understand the importance of exposing children to such culture especially at an early age. My email is (the 0 is the number zero)

  6. I've just followed on Instagram. My handle is RaeRae_live

  7. I would take my 9 yr old ballerina. She loves ballet!!

  8. Follow on Instagram jenniferriveracabrera

  9. I would take my mini me Ajalicia. My email

  10. I would take my 9 year old son. It would be his first time, I think he would love it!!!!

  11. Followed on Instagram. My handle is @ripeness. Thank you!!

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