Nutcracker: little girl steals the show and the hearts of all

Hadley stands proud in her ballet leotard.

COLUMBUS, Ga.- The Nutcracker is a timeless story cherished in many hearts already, but there’s another special story buried in this year’s production by The Columbus Ballet. Her name is Hadley Schoenborn and she is in Act I of the Nutcracker and her mother says it’s a miracle. She says just two weeks ago Hadley was in ICU being treated for her rare liver disease. She had no idea if she would heal in time to resume her spot in the party scene of the show.

Seeing her dance on the stage you wouldn’t think she was ill, however the young girl just recently had a liver transplant back in September and there have been complications every since. Her mother says she is going to need another liver transplant in the future, but the doctors are under strict orders from this mama and little girl that nothing will happen until after this weekend’s Nutcracker performance.

Hadley says she was inspired to be in this year’s Nutcracker after being mesmerized by last year’s performance. Hadley signed up in January and began dancing with The Columbus Ballet, but had to stop in September to have her transplant. Hadley is loved by many and especially on social media. Her mom manages a Facebook page called  “Hope for Hadley.” It’s where she is able to update friends and family on Hadley’s condition. Hadley’s mom says some of the folks from her social media support group contacted the The Columbus Ballet to see if Hadley could still have a small part in the show even though she hadn’t been currently participating.

The director of the show, Lisa Carter, gladly welcomed Hadley with open arms into the production and says she has been a blessing to everyone. Carter says it warms her heart to know the Nutcracker has been a highlight for Hadley too.

If you were planning to see the Nutcracker then look out for this strong little girl and give her an extra applause.However, to see Hadley and the rest of the show you should hurry because tickets are nearly sold out. Carter credits this year’s successful ticket sales to extra advertising through various media platforms. She says it’s a real miracle too because their production competes with many other holiday events and shows happening at the same time in the Valley.

This is Carter’s second year directing this performance. She has an extensive international career in the arts and she tells News 3 she is impressed that a community of our size has a live orchestra to compliment the Nutcracker. It’s something Carter says is remarkable and she does not take for granted. She says the orchestra seals the deal.

In this year’s Nutcracker she says you can expect to see some brand new props and fresh choreography.

This year’s performances are being held this Saturday, December 12th at 7.30pm and Sunday, December 13th at 2.30pm. You can get tickets at or at the box office.


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