Littlest Christmas Dancer: 16-Month-Old Naomi
Stories about The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s 2018 Christmas concert continue to surface. Take the dancers, for example.
One hundred twenty dancers filled the stages and the aisles of the Conference Center. They performed with grace and polish in several different numbers during the Christmas concert in front of audiences of over 20,000 at each performance. They were dressed in elegant costumes of whites and creams with the girls bedecked in ribbons and ruffles and floating chiffon, each in an outfit made especially for them. They danced, glided, and twirled, adding beauty and movement to what was already an extraordinary program.
And then there was Naomi. No one could miss her amid the 40 women, 20 men, and 60 children. She had a solo moment of sorts up high on what is called “the football,” the part of the stage right in front of the Choir. Lifted and cradled, reaching up and out, smiling with sheer rapture, Naomi—all 18 pounds of this 16-month-old—was front and center. She was real, though some wondered if she was a doll.
She didn’t try out for the part, though she had been coming to rehearsals for months; the children played with her and she was on her best behavior. She was scooped up by one of the dancers during the rehearsal Tuesday night before the three nights of performances. “I like that look,” the director said as he watched the dancers entertaining Naomi, swinging her about and cuddling her close. With some quick choreography, she was added to the show.
She charmed the audience and the cameras. The smallest and youngest of the dance troupe, infant Naomi didn’t whimper, cry, or look for her mom, Christine Moore, who is now in her sixth year as the Choir’s choreographer for the Christmas spectacular. Naomi was such a natural on stage that when the cameras caught her face it was angelic, just as it should be.