Birthday celebrations sparkle at Hamilton Academy of Dance

Birthday celebrations sparkle at Hamilton Academy of Dance

July 25th, 2012 in Local Regional News

Seeing the need for a location in the area to host birthday parties for young girls, Hamilton Academy of Dance owner Patricia Ryan is teaming up with party coordinator Alisha Hughes to offer "sparkle celebrations."

"So many moms say, 'There's nowhere for my daughter to host a birthday party,'" said Ryan, who felt the pink and sparkly atmosphere of her dance studio would be an ideal spot.

Hamilton Academy of Dance is now hosting "sparkle celebrations," in which the birthday girl can select the host of her choice, with endless options from Disney princesses to ballerinas. Gathered around "Princess Elizabeth" from left are Jennie Landreth as Snow White, Elise Halcomb as Cinderella, Denver Belle as Belle and ballerina Olivia Hughes.

Photo by Emily Crisman

Girls can choose from options including ballerina, princess and tea parties or select their own theme, such as Barbie or Hello Kitty. The birthday girl also selects a hostess, which, depending on the birthday girl's theme, could be her favorite princess, a ballerina or a "proper elegant lady" for tea parties. The dancers in Ryan's company provide a ready pool of hostesses from which to pull.

"The girls have a lot of fun hosting the parties," said Ryan, who has dancers resembling Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine, to name a few. "They really get a thrill out of it."

HAD provides everything necessary for the party aside from cake, snacks and drinks, including custom invitations, outfits for the birthday girl and guests to wear at the party, entertainment, decorations, tableware and goody bags.

Each party lasts around two hours, with a half hour spent learning a dance for attendees to perform for parents. The HAD dancer hostess also plans several games for attendees to play based on the theme.

Since not all girls are dancers, the studio keeps dance outfits and shoes in a range of sizes for party guests to slip on as they arrive.

"Everyone wants to dress up like a princess at least once in their life," said Ryan.

For ballerina parties, each guest receives a tutu and tiara to wear for the day and the host gets a special birthday ballerina outfit, she said.

Every birthday girl receives a few items to take home, such as a fancy hat and purse for tea party hostesses or a sparkly tiara and tutu for ballerina-themed celebrations.

While the basic party package includes all that is necessary for a girl's special day, she can also choose from a variety of party add-ons available for each theme.

Ryan has partnered with stylist Cathy Daughtery of Lily's Salon in Hixson to offer the option of manicures, pedicures, princess makeup and chocolate facials to the birthday girl and her guests. The birthday girl can also add activities or crafts which require more supplies, such as making festive party purses or ballet streamers with her guests.

HAD can also supply extras such as hors d'oeuvres for parents, cake or theme thank-you notes.

A group picture of the birthday girl, her guests and the HAD dancer hostess is included in the cost of each party. Individual shots with the dancer hostess, the birthday girl and each of her guests can also be arranged for an extra charge.

A birthday book is available at the studio outlining all party possibilities offered as well as photos of past parties for inspiration. As an added bonus, each birthday girl receives a free dance lesson at HAD.