Alice's Mad Tea Party

Tea and Toe Shoes, in the past, has had a fair amount of hilarious mishaps behind the scenes.



The first year the studio revived the tradition, we tried to do a group dance in a small space and the tulle of my tutu ended up entangled around everyone’s ankles.The next year a last minute run had to be made to the studio to pick up some forgotten costumes. Despite these momentary obstacles, Tea and Toe Shoes has continually been a success in the community. Lacking in any tutu ripping or costume forgetting, this year’s Tea and Toe Shoes was a similar success.



Dancers arrived at TPC Valencia to rehearse two hours before guests. The main characters had each gotten their makeup done before hand --quick shout out to Ruth Stanke for doing a lot with only fifteen minutes with each of the dancers.


After two quick run-throughs and a few easy modifications to spacing in some of the characters’ dances, the dancers retired to the dressing room to eat lunch and prepare for the tea.


Brooke Stanke touches up Julia Dunne's makeup.

The guests came dressed in splashes of color and impressive hats, including this dedicated women who spent two days creating a hat worthy of the Mad Hatter’s recognition.


Photo by Celine Kiner

One of the three winners of the hat contests explains to the dancers how she created her hat.

Author of the Alice and Wonderland books, Lewis Carroll, introduced Alice and the rest of the characters, including the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and the Queen of Hearts. The audience enjoyed their scones and tea while buying tickets for the raffle and bidding on the silent auction items.


Lewis Carroll and the Mad Hatter look for guests with equally cool hats.


The young dancers flocked to the stage once the White Rabbit informed them that the characters were ready to perform. Each character performed well, but the little girls were particularly (and unsurprisingly) taken by Alice herself.



After the performance, Miss Pam called the audience to the stage, where they were each crowned Princesses of Hearts and given a small tiara to take home.



Many of the other guests did not leave empty handed either. The prizes ranged from an American Girl Doll to a gift card tree to the Santa Clarita Ballet grand prize: 50% off a year’s tuition, four free Nutcracker tickets, and a parking space in the back lot. This basket went to Judy Sorci, who I think many of the parents were jealous of at that particular moment.


The dancers lined up at the entrance and waved to the guests as they made their exits.


The Queen of Hearts (Lauren Hart) is given a handmade hat by an exiting guest.


And, afterward, you better believe we took advantage of the leftovers on that candy table.