Are you a little person?  Do you know a little person?  Well, grab that little person and bring him / her down to the Christmas Feast this Sunday, because we have some very exciting things happening for big people and little people alike.

Let me introduce you to Sally Donaldson.  She is the Founder of the magical, wonderful social enterprise, Tea Dance for Little People.  Sally has been busy working with us at Feast to bring you a magical and totally unique Christmas experience.  The full low-down on what you’ll find this Sunday at Feast is over here, but to give you a taste – roaming the streets of West Norwood you might find an unusually nimble, body-popping Santa, the Fairy-who-fell-off-the-Christmas-tree, pop-up craft activities and more.

Sally has answered a few of our questions to give you an idea of what Tea Dance for Little People is all about and why Feast is the only place to be this Sunday.

Q. Tell us about Tea Dance for Little People

Originally TDLP was set up as an alternative family arts cafe.  Having completed a series of fieldwork assignments for my MA in dance anthropology as well as having two little ones myself, I noticed a gap in the market for a family community space for where they could access quality arts at their own pace.  It was a space families could come to for half an hour or a whole day, whatever worked for them.  There was always an artist there, whether a storyteller, dancer, musician or visual artist, and they responded to the children and their response to the design of the space.  In one year we went from a tea party to pyjama party, from outer space to cardboard cities, from Halloween to Christmas to Valentines.  It was a child-centred space, and the artists were trained in a very specific way to encourage physical and creative development, look at the individual child as well as the whole group and inspire starting points for families to create their own journeys in the space.

In April we faced a 200% rental increase and couldn’t sustain the space so we decided to close.  I did it with a heavy heart, worried I would loose all my artists and families that had connected with us over the last year, but instead we just got stronger and stronger.  Yes we had to rebuild a little and sometimes I miss not having our own venue but now the world is now open for TDLP.  We are building stronger relationships with partner venues and community organisations and are even moving into middle scale theatre with our Christmas season at Stratford Circus.

Aside from this our passion is our outreach work.  Our mission as a social enterprise is to impact on the health and well-being of families with young children through creative arts and this year we welcome our first grant for our new scheme for health centre waiting rooms called “Play while you Wait”.  This is something we want to grow to help parents engage with their kids creatively in places and space where they have to wait – what could you be doing with your kids in traffic jams, shopping queues, hospitals etc

Q. Where can people find you?

Our website has the most up-to-date info.  Now that our special events sell out fast, it’s through our regular e-newsletters that people get to hear of events, so best to join through the website.  We also tweet at td4lp and have a very active facebook page.

Q.  What do you have planned for the Christmas West Norwood Feast?

Ho ho ho! that would be telling.  A rapping Santa, an elf barn dance, a Christmas fairy wish and the chance to ask Santa that one question that you could never quite figure out – how does he get down that chimney!?

Don’t miss Tea Dance for Little People’s imaginative experiences, this Sunday at Feast:

11-11.45am @ Gardening: Christmas Walkabout + Elf Factory
12-12.45pm @ Retro: Promenade performance with Santa + his Head Elf
1-1.45pm @ Food: Christmas Walkabout + Elf Factory
3-3.45pm @ Artisans: Promenade performance with Santa + his Head Elf

For full details of all Feast entertainment and activities, head over here