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!“