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Bluffton family surprises their 'Twinkle Toes' at Chicago dance performance

Bluffton native Katherine Stanas is performing in a production of "Mary Poppins" in Chicago.
Bluffton native Katherine Stanas is performing in a production of "Mary Poppins" in Chicago. Submitted photo

Katherine Stanas was an adorable little girl, and guess what? She has grown up and become a beautiful young woman. Katherine has always loved to dance. In fact, she honed her dance skills for 10 years at the Bluffton School of Dance with Dawn Rosa. After she graduated from high school, Katherine headed to New York City with the blessing of her family for more training. Her next step was The Joffrey Ballet School and then Broadway Dance Center.

In between all of this, she was put under contract by Carnival Cruises and earned her sea legs dancing on the Atlantic and Carribean. Katherine is now under contract with the Palace Theatre in the Wisconsin Dells for their holiday production of "Mary Poppins."

Katherine's parents, Kathy and Scott, have family in the Chicago area. They had the brilliant idea of driving to Chicago for Thanksgiving and surprising "Twinkle Toes" by sitting in the front row at her performance. So our intrepid travelers made arrangements for the journey -- anti-freeze and tire check. Katherine's brother joined his parents, and off they set. They were fine until the Indiana state line when the weather became horrendous, but on they chugged. Chicago never looked so good, they thought when they arrived, exhausted and cold. The day before Thanksgiving Katherine was busy rehearsing, thinking her family was toasty warm in South Carolina and preparing for their feast the next day.

The next evening the curtain rose at the theater, and when Katherine came on stage she had no idea her three biggest fans were in the audience. She was so surprised her family thought she was going to dance off the stage. What a wonderful Thanksgiving it was; champagne was enjoyed by everyone, and the Stanas family decided they would do it all over again ... well, maybe if the play is in Florida. In January, Katherine is headed back to the Big Apple for more adventures.

  • I hope you all saw the Bluffton Christmas Parade. My favorite float was Cahill's. Johnny Cahill drove his tractor, his granddaughter Evelyn in his lap, pulling some of his chickens in a pen Robbie had made. Evelyn's cute mama walked alongside. It was wonderful. The whole affair was really swell. I think everyone had a grand old time.
  • The Society of Bluffton Artists is hosting "A Holiday Boutique" through Dec. 30 at their gallery at the corner of Calhoun and Church streets. The collection includes handmade treasures of all sorts, cards and small paintings. This event is always full of wonderful treasures. Call 843-757-6586 for information.
  • If you have a bored child hanging around the house during the holidays, here is a fun thing for them to do. A drop-in tennis camp will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 29-31 at the Bluffton High School tennis courts. Cost is $15 a day, or $30 for the whole camp if you pay in advance. The camp includes cardio activities, a warm-up game, live ball practice, strategy and daily competition. Reservations are required so that instructors can be paired with campers. Equipment will be provided if need be. For information call Bluffton High tennis coach Bob Brown at 843-290-2833 or go to
  • You can have free pictures taken with Santa Claus from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Salty Dog T-Shirt outlet at the Tanger Factory Stores. Bring your whole family and, if you like, your very well-behaved family pet on a leash.
  • Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.


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