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Dance/10's Tap Dancing Christmas Trees Take New York

These tinsel-toed tappers of Alameda's Dance/10 Performing Arts Center are spreading holiday cheer from coast-to-coast at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

By Dance/10 Performing Arts Center

This holiday season, 45 tap dancing Christmas Trees from Alameda's Dance/10 Performing Arts Center will hoof their way to Herald Square in the Macy’s 86th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The Tap Dancing Christmas Trees, ranging in age from 15 to 74, are directed by Pamm Drake, who toured with the national touring company of A Chorus Line before founding Dance/10.

The 20-year-old performance group includes herself, other ex-professional dancers, and students. The company began as a finale in its own Christmas shows and then found its niche performing for tree-lighting ceremonies in Bay Area communities.

Now, after 20 years, their impressive resume includes three previous appearances in the Macy’s Parade (2001, 2004 and 2007) the Hollywood Parade in 2010 and numerous appearance in the Oakland, Niles and Napa Parade. The group was scouted twice…once to appear in a Coke commercial (not as Trees) and to audition for America’s Got Talent!

So what makes them such a crowd favorite that fans (especially kids) want to be photographed with the trees, keeping them for hours after each event? Their energy is notable (they are known for dancing entire parade routes ending each routine with a kick line finish) their sprit is contagious (Ms. Drake now teaches numerous tap classes a week) and when asked about their popularity she says ”Everyone wants to be a tree!“

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Tom Brody November 12, 2012 at 05:33 PM
I am so proud that our tap dancing Christmas trees are performing at Herald Square in New York City, located at the intersection of Broadway and Sixth Avenue. I have also performed in a parade while wearing (and using) tap shoes. But my group was a clogging group. Our parade was not a Christmas parade though, because the ice and snow on the road would have prevented effective use of our tap shoes (State Street in Madison, Wisconsin). At the time, I had a sheet of newly purchase postage stamps in my back pocket. After the parade, I noticed that the stamps were all stuck together. The take-home lesson is as follows. If you are required to perform in a parade, for example, in a parade requiring continual tap-dancing, then it is wise to make sure that your pockets do not contain a sheet of postage stamps.
Analisa Harangozo November 12, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Tom, thanks for sharing, and a wise lesson learned :)
Charlotte Tlachac November 12, 2012 at 06:20 PM
My "social" step-daughter Rachelle took dance lessons for many years at the studio where Pam started out. It wasn't until she started doing tap classes that she came into her own. This talent won her awards at competitions, a job teaching in dance studios during college and a role in "A Chorus Line" in a production in Denver where she lives now. Kudos to Pam for all she does....and gotta love those TREES!!!!
Nancy C. November 13, 2012 at 02:56 AM
We watched the dancing trees last year at the ice skating rink on Park Street. The ladies were so energetic and so fun to watch. Nice too as many folks asked to have pictures taken with them.

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