Swing of Things: Keep Holiday Traditions Alive at Home

Fred Astaire Dance Studios is spreading holiday cheer by encouraging people to get in the swing of things this month and stream a Christmas performance to your living room.

Every December, many families dress to the nines and celebrate the season by attending a performance of the “Nutcracker” or “A Christmas Carol.” The outbreak of COVID-19 closed dance companies and theaters across the country and forced many Americans to rethink their holiday plans. The fine and performing arts industry lost 1.4 million jobs and $42.5 billion in sales this year, according to a report from the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy institution. To help people maintain treasured Christmas traditions and showcase the important role performing arts plays in the community, dancers, actors and musicians are stepping up to provide holiday cheer. Many performing arts companies are streaming their shows so people can enjoy musical favorites, dance performances and Christmas plays from the safety of their home.

To get in the swing of the season, here are some highly-anticipated holiday performances to put on your December calendar and watch from the comfort of your sofa in some Christmas pajamas or your favorite ugly sweater. Make sure to pour a cup of hot cocoa and bring a plate of Christmas cookies from the kitchen before clicking play.

A Christmas Carol


The American Shakespeare Center is offering streaming performances of “A Christmas Carol,” a classic Christmas tale. “A Christmas Carol,” originally by Charles Dickens, tells the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge’s journey to recapture the magic of Christmas. Here is a scene from a performance of “A Christmas Carol” from The Old Vic in London.


The Nutcracker


The New York City Ballet is providing a live-stream of “The Nutcracker” viewers can rent on demand. The Christmas ballet was filmed at The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York last year. A 62-piece orchestra helps guide viewers through the performance, which includes sugarplum fairies, a nutcracker prince and an army of mice. Check out this beautiful scene of ballerinas masquerading as snowflakes in “The Waltz of the Snowflakes” performed by the New York City Ballet in 2016.

Holiday Concerts


The Maryland Symphony Orchestra is offering a free, livestream of its annual holiday musical event on December 20. Home for the Holidays features familiar Christmas favorites performed by the brass musicians to help spark Christmas spirit. On December 23, the North Carolina Symphony will host a performance of holiday favorites, including “Silent Night” and “Carol of the Bells,” with its brass musicians and a guest organist. Trans-Siberian Orchestra is offering a 90-minute livestream of its Christmas favorites on December 18. The rock band typically tours during December, and attending the high-energy show featuring spirited tunes and laser lights is a holiday tradition for many music lovers. Here is the official music video of the group’s “Christmas Canon.”

If you would like to get in on the action, Fred Astaire Dance Studios offers live-streaming dance lessons on its website. The Online Lesson Platform includes dance lesson videos led by certified dance instructors and world-renowned International Dance Council members. You can also book 30-minute, private streaming dance lessons. Taking a dance lesson from your living room offers welcome stress relief and is an opportunity for your family to make new memories during this unique holiday season.

Contact your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios to schedule a future lesson or to learn more about online lessons.