Great Neck native Ashley Hod, 18, is shining a light on Great Neck as she plays the role of the Dewdrop, leading the “Waltz of the Flowers,” this holiday season at the New York City Ballet’s famous performance of The Nutcracker.
For Hod, this call to fame came as a surprise, as she answered her phone, in the rain, walking down a New York City street, returning to the city after her grandfather’s funeral.
Hod grew up in Great Neck and began dancing at four-years-old at the Great Neck School of Dance. At only age eight, in 2003, she began her professional ballet training at the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet, training with famed ballerinas. And she quickly rose through the ranks of very talented young ballerinas. She soon became an apprentice with the corps.
During her years of training, the beautiful 5″ 8’ teenager found herself extremely lucky (and talented) enough to perform in a series of ballet performances with the New York City Ballet, performances that included George Ballanchine’s legendary The Nutcracker and the possibly equally famed A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Hod had become an apprentice with the NYCB in 2012 and became a member of the ballet company’s corps de ballet in October 2013.
Other well-known performances include ballet roles in Peter Martins’ The Sleeping Beauty and Coppelia.
Admitting to nerves as she first steps on stage for each performance, dancing the Dewdrop Fairy is exciting and lively, and the young ballerina shines with talent and beauty as she gracefully dances and “jumps” into the hearts of the audience each time. You watch Ashley Hod and you feel the thrill. Hod loves to dance and it is more than obvious to those lucky enough to catch one of her performances.
For Ashley Hod, this holiday season was a thrilling combination of dancing in the classic The Nutcracker and spending special times with her family, both important parts of her life. And to top it all off, during Christmas week she rang the opening New York Stock Exchange bell on television, on CNBC.
So this season, when almost everyone leading the cast of The Nutcracker this year in New York City is a new star, Ashley Hod is one of them. For everyone who had the joy of watching Hod this year, Ballanchine’s classic ballet had a special shine with beautiful hometown ballerina Ashley Hod.