Sipping tea with princesses

October 21, 2008|By EMILY SEILER / Pulse Correspondent

In fairy tales, the heroines are always doing something nice for someone else. Little Red Riding Hood was visiting her sick grandma. Belle found the beauty in the Beast. And Wendy watched over her brothers and assisted Peter Pan in fighting pirates.

When dancers at City Ballet School in Hagerstown dress as famous literary characters this weekend, they'll be doing something nice, too. The money raised from their Princess Tea Party will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

City Ballet School, under the direction of Danielle Horochowski, will host its Princess Tea Party at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at St. Mark's Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall in Hagerstown. The $5 admission will be donated to the hospital.

"The reason that I choose St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was because it is the perfect opportunity to help the small children (who) are in serious conditions and need help and special medications," Horochowski said. "The dancers could not think of a better place to donate money to."


Students will perform variations of ballet pieces as the Tinkerbell and Wendy from "Peter Pan," Dorothy from "Wizard of Oz," Belle from "Beauty and the Beast," Jasmine from "Aladdin," Sleeping Beauty, Minnie Mouse, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Pocahontas.

The variations class is a opportunity to learn and perform variations of dances en pointe. It is once a week and the variation dancers have a performance at the end of the year.

This year, Horochowski decided to use the talents of the dancers to help other children. She said this will also give the dancers extra time to have a performance.

Normally the director choreographs the piece for a performance, but for this show the dancers were able to choreograph their own pieces, with the help of the other girls. Horochowski said the music is classical instead of the familiar Disney music because the classical music resembled the characters better.

The show is targeted to children 3 to 8 years of age and their parents, but people of all age are welcome. Audience members can dress up as their favorite princess characters or wear their Sunday best.

Refreshments are available while the dancers dance their variations.

Many of the dancers said they are having fun portraying their characters and can't wait for the performance.

Katie Colbert, a 17-year-old senior who attends Greencastle-Antrim High School, is dancing as Dorothy. "It is going to be a really great experience for younger girls to see older dancers," she said.

Kelsy Rupp, a 16-year-old junior at Williamsport High School, will dance as Belle. "The princess tea was a great opportunity and experience for us to dance the pieces that we choreographed," she said. "The fact that we get to share our talents with the young girls of the community is just another fabulous benefit for us."

Emily Roher of Boonsboro Middle School is 13 years old and is dancing the part of Wendy. "I believe that this is a very good way to raise money for St. Jude's while little girls get a chance to have fun," she said.

Horochowski said she believes that the benefit dance will be a good way to help the ballet school "branch out."

"I hope there will also be other opportunities for the dancers to reach out to the community," she said. "I would like this to be a fun activity for younger children to get acquainted with the dance art form through familiar characters."

If you go ...


What: Princess Tea Party

When: 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25

Where: St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall in Hagerstown

Cost: $5. Proceeds benefit St. Jude Research Children's Hospital

More: To purchase tickets, call the City Ballet School at 301-733-5833 or e-mail Danielle Horochowski at

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