Johnaisia Stone, a 10-year-old ballet fan, couldn’t go to “The Nutcracker,” so the Grand Rapids Ballet brought the show to her hospital room.

Soldiers and party girls, Clara, the giant mouse and a giant Nutcracker twirled and leapt in the halls of Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital on Monday. Johnaisia stood on the other side of the doorway and beamed at the private performance.

The visit was part of the Ballet’s mission to bring holiday cheer to kids in the hospital.

The first stop was on the ninth floor, where dancers performed for children undergoing treatments that required them to stay in their rooms. Then, the troupe packed into elevators and went to the first floor, where they performed an abridged version of “The Nutcracker” on stage in the lobby.

The show, arranged by Child Life Services, was a welcome surprise for Nico Perton, a 4-year-old boy who had his tonsils and adenoids removed that morning.

“This is really exciting,” said his mother, Emily Perton. “We didn’t expect to see dancers today when we came to the hospital. He has never even seen ballet dancers before.”

Two-year-old Baxter Brann curled on Mom’s lap and swayed back and forth to the music, clapping enthusiastically after each number. Baxter, who underwent a kidney transplant in September, was in the hospital to treat some complications, said his mother, Jessica Brann.

She enjoyed seeing her music-loving little boy become captivated by the ballet.

“It’s great—especially with the Christmas season,” she said, after the dancers took their final bow. “It gives the kids a break from the reality of what they are dealing with every day. It really brightens the kids’ day.”

Attila Mosolygo, the artistic director of the Ballet School’s Junior Company, performed the role of Herr Drosselmeyer and narrated the production. After the show, he gave each child a nutcracker ornament.

The dancers said the performance at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital was as rewarding for them as it was for the patients.

“It’s really such a great opportunity to come and share our love for dance and spread the joy and magic of ‘The Nutcracker,’” said Emily Ratkos, 17.

Thirteen-year-old Ethan Kroll, who played Fritz, agreed.

“It’s nice to bring the dance to them when they can’t come to the dance.”