7-year-old boy with Down syndrome makes history being cast in the Nutcracker

His hard work has paid off!

December 21 2016

Jack’s mother, Ashley Barlow, told Cincinnati.com: “We’re just thrilled,” she said. “It’s exciting that Jack has gotten all of this attention.”


In an interview with Fort Thomas Matter blog, Ashley said the role came about after a conversation she had with the Cincinnati Ballet Director of Education.


Ashley recalls the conversation, saying, “You know, I like to tease, so at the end of the year [last spring], I said to Julie Sunderland, ‘I think we are going to home school so we can move to Russia so we can concentrate on ballet.’


She said, ‘Maybe he should be in The Nutcracker.’” After some thought and discussion Ashley said, “we decided to throw Jack into the role and see what happens."

As for Jack, Ashley says he “loves the stage. He enjoys the spotlight. He’s a ham. He’s very extroverted. We call him Hurricane Jack, you know. He loves it. He is so engaged. We are cautiously optimistic that he will do well once the lights are on.”