For 10 years, the Coastal Performing Arts Academy has been offering its take on the 1966 classic "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!"
Their version, "How the Dancing Grinch Stole Christmas," is a fun way to spread some holiday cheer.
Tiffany Altman, one of the volunteer dance moms, says they "wanted something exciting and vivid that would create an addition to the tradition holiday shows. We like the idea of the 'Grinch' because it teaches the children that Christmas is not just about gifts but about love."
That sentiment has drawn more than 250 dancers to get involved in this year's production, including Ian Mosley as The Grinch and Sydney Crawford as Cindy Lou Who.
The performance is just one feature of Christmas on the River, the annual holiday celebration on River Street. The fun lasts from 4-10 p.m. Dec. 5 and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 6.
The highlight of the weekend will be Savannah's Lighted Christmas Parade, which starts at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6 on West River Street, traveling throughout downtown and ending at Ellis Square.
There are several ways to catch this year's production of "Grinch," including one-hour previews at 1 p.m. Dec. 6 in City Market and 3:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at Rousakis Plaza. The performers will also appear in the Christmas on the River Lighted Parade.
These performances feature some of the best dances from the show. The dancers range from 3-18 and compete all over the Southeast in tap, jazz, lyrical and hip hop.
The full two-hour production is at 3 p.m. Dec. 7 at Johnny Mercer Theatre. The show features dancers from ages 2-22 performing ballet, tap and jazz.
Altman notes that her favorite scenes include the Redneck Whoville tap dance and the Snow Ballet, a classical ballet segment. But the showstoppers continue to be the one-of-a-kind costumes made by parents and family members of the dancers, and of course, that hair.
"You can't walk past a 'Who' and not notice or stop and take a second look," Altman says.
Parents also design and build the stage and props, while teachers at Coastal Performing Arts Academy choreograph all the dances. Academy owner Dawn Kuster directs, with assistance from Mindy Crawford.
The shows started out at Effingham County High School, then the Savannah Theatre, but quickly outgrew both locations and now brings Whoville to Johnny Mercer Theatre.
"This has become a family tradition for so many families with children performing in the show, as well as coming to see the show each year," Altman says. "'The Dancing Grinch' show is a great way to get into the holiday spirit."