Pick-up Trucks, Parking Lots, and Ballerinas?

tailgate invite

You betcha! ¬†After all, this IS Wise County, and we are a county of people who will NOT be categorized. ¬†Sure, we love our pick ups, our rodeo, our Friday Night Lights and cheerleaders like any respectable Texas town does. ¬†We support our local Scouts and FFA and 4-H youth. ¬†We’re PROUD of our veterans and the military families who sacrifice so much and choose to live among us. ¬†You’ll find a church every few hundred feet and (gasp) people actually attend services. ¬†We gather. ¬†Together. ¬†On the squares and main streets. ¬†In the football stadiums, rodeo arenas, basketball courts, baseball fields and, lest we forget the GREAT GATHERING PLACE, Charlie Brown…in the local WAL MART.
But one of the largest gatherings of Wise Countians each year is at the local high school theatre.  For nothing less than a ballet performance!.  No kidding.

Each year for the past eleven years, Wise County has rallied around in support of a full-length classical ballet performed by local dance students from 3 years old through adulthood. ¬†We’re not talking the cliche’ ¬†“line ’em up and send ’em out” end-of-the-year dance recital every parent has yawned his way through for a glimpse of ‘little darling’ doing her best Shirley Temple imitation. ¬†We’re talking a full-length, no holds barred, production of “Cinderella’, or ‘Alice in Wonderland’, or, in this year’s case, “The Arabian Nights”. ¬† And this year, we’re doing it with LIVE musicians which has become unheard of in the current Arts community with it’s infamous “lack of funding”.

Not so in Wise County! ¬†We rally around our artists. ¬†Local businesses from car dealers, doctors and dentists to farmers and avon ladies line up to support the efforts of tireless volunteers who make the whole thing happen. ¬†The local movie theater has been on board from the beginning and even provides an annual ‘screening’ for the dancers and their families so they can watch themselves perform. ¬†On the Big Screen, in stadium seating, popcorn in hand! ¬†How cool is that? ¬†One of the county’s title companies has supported the effort all along and has even provided an office space for meetings of the volunteer board members who steer the ship, as it were. ¬†More than 200 volunteers are backstage during the performances helping wrangle sets, props, costumes and dancers. ¬†This is not small potatoes!
And the performances sell-out. ¬†1500 “just plain folk’ show up for two nights of classical ballet and stand in ovation when the curtains close on the finale. ¬†So, you can call us small-town, after all, we choose to be small town and we love everything about it. ¬†But backward? Uneducated? Uncultured? ¬†Oh, no. ¬†THAT we are not!