Seniors transport to Wonderland at Mad Hatter’s tea

Tap dancers wear Alice in Wonderland-themed attire at the Senior Center's Mad Hatter's tea party on Sept. 28, 2017. Gina Ender/The Signal.
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The Senior Center was transformed into Wonderland on Thursday and all the seniors were invited to The Mad Hatter’s tea party.

Attendees, many of whom chose to wear their wildest hats, were treated to a tap dance performance, a slice of “unbirthday cake” and a game of croquet.

“It’s something so unique,” Senior Center Director of Volunteers, Recreation and Education Robin Clough said. “The whole goal is to entertain.”

Senior Center staff spent months planning the event and the tap dancers spent nearly as much time rehearsing their rendition of “Tea for Two” and “A Very Merry Unbirthday.”

“It gives us a chance to showcase their talent,” Clough said. “We’re hoping to take it on the road.”

The dancers hope to go into the community to perform in the near future, according to Clough.

Being in front of an audience came naturally to Maureen Lawton, who danced in a bright green dress and big pink hat.

“I love to perform and I like to be on stage,” Lawton said. “I’m grateful I can still dance at this age.”

Renee Focht (left), Barbara Gallagher and Georgina Paredes don festive hats at the Senior Center’s Mad Hatter’s tea party on Sept. 28, 2017. Gina Ender/The Signal

Though she admits she was a bit nervous to perform, Donna Davidson said she loved dancing with the tap group.

“We have a great time and we like each other,” Davidson said. “We want people to feel as much joy as we do when we dance.”

After only four months of tap classes at The Senior Center, Elena Hadjiandreou said she had fun being a part of the group. Prior to her tap classes, she taught ballet for 10 years.

Before coming to Santa Clarita, Hadjiandreou spent 50 years in South Africa and said life is much different for seniors in the United States.

“Seniors are so alive in this country, more than anywhere else,” Hadjiandreou said.

A group dons festive hats at the Senior Center’s Mad Hatter’s tea party on Sept. 28, 2017. Gina Ender/The Signal

Tommie Ward goes to the Senior Center practically every day and said she enjoys when they put on special events. She calls herself an “ambassador” for the center and frequently rallies her friends to come spend their time there.

“It’s good to have friends and to have socializing,” Ward said. “It helps with a good quality of life. This is home.”

Though Ward did not perform with the tap group, she loves ballroom dancing at the Senior Center every Wednesday night.

“I dance hard,” she said.

The Senior Center’s next special event will be a country hoedown on Oct. 17 at 11:30 a.m.

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