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Tap Dancing Christmas Trees to Perform in Macy’s Parade

It’s been 33 years since Pamm Drake dressed up like a Christmas tree and tap danced across the stage of Kofman Auditorium with five of her students. Now, at Dance/10 Performing Arts Center in Alameda, they are rehearsing for their sixth appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with 61 Tap Dancing Christmas Trees.

Alameda Post - the Trees at the Macy's parade
The Trees at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Photo Pamm Drake.

What happened over the last 33 years? After their debut performance, people began asking about the Tap Dancing Christmas Trees. Drake took an ad out in the San Francisco Chronicle that promised, “Add a little kick to your holiday party,” and the phone began to ring.

Since then, she’s accumulated an array of clients that range from London Breed to Channel 2 to the California Academy of Sciences. The Trees perform at many local tree lighting events in the Bay Area, as well as the Oakland Parade, Niles Parade, Napa Parade, and Hollywood Parade.

After their second appearance in the Hollywood Parade, the Trees were scouted to appear on America’s Got Talent. Although their performance did not appear on the TV show, they did dance for Howie Mandel and Piers Morgan.

A huge highlight for the Tap Dancing Christmas Trees was when they were invited to perform for the opening of the 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the Muppets, including Miss Piggy.

What has given the Trees such longevity? Drake attributes it to the enthusiasm of the dancers and their home here on the island.

Alameda Post - the Trees perform in front of a building
The Trees in front of Radio City Music Hall. Photo Pamm Drake.

“I love Alameda,” she says. “I love the community, and the students that range from age 13 to 78 have given my life a real purpose, a place to continue dancing and performing at 73. The Tap Dancing Christmas Trees have given me a lifetime of memories!”

A handful of the Trees have been with Drake since the beginning. This year, they boast three generations of top dancers—mother, daughter, granddaughter, husband and wife, brother and sister, numerous sets of mothers and daughters, and Drake’s two great nieces. Even the daughter of an Alameda Post staff member is tree this year!

Look for the Tap Dancing Christmas trees at the Alameda Tree Lighting on Saturday, December 2, and at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC.

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