The Princess

The DancerSee: The Athlete | The Princess | The Hipster | The Intellectual 

Keep 'em Busy: Tiny Dancer

At some point, every princess dreams of growing up to be a prima ballerina, and Charlotte School of Ballet can help her do just that. Founded forty years ago by professional dancer Gay Porter-Speer, the school uses the Royal Academy of Dance curriculum to teach students three and up. For the school-age dancers, Porter-Speer brings in ballet experts from all over the world to conduct annual exams. The school offers a vocational program for dancers starting at around age twelve who are serious about a life in a tutu. (Starting at $70 to $75 a month for one class a week.) 627 S. Sharon Amity Rd., 704-366-9675,

Pint-Sized Decor: Fit for a Princess

It's all about the accessories: Bellini owner Joyce McCaskill can have a bedside lamp custom made for you in the shape of, say, a mermaid, a bunny rabbit, or the ever-popular crown for your princess. Created by an Anderson, South Carolina artist who bedecks them in crystals, lace, or feathers, these lamps are an investment at around $500, but often become cherished heirlooms. 901 S. Kings Dr., 704-377-6888

Caught on Camera

For just $500, you can get a framed nine-by-nine-inch sepia tone portrait of your sleeping beauty done by artist Greg Barnes, who works from a photograph to create a snuggly sepia tone image that you'll cherish forever (starting at $350). Barnes Studios, 704-366-3694

Rainbow Cake

Rainbow Cake

Party Time: Tea, Please

For $300, eight to ten young ladies get to dress up in hats, boas, and frilly dresses and attend a tea party in the upstairs room of the historic Elizabeth neighborhood home that is Ooh-La-La's (formerly La-tea-da's). While the girls sip and nibble, co-proprietress Rachel Seeley, who has attended classes at The Washington School of Protocol, slips in some important etiquette lessons: when to pick up your napkin, which fork to use, and when to start eating. The price includes pretty much everything: invitations and thank-you cards, decorations, food, cake, party favors, and, of course, tea (or pink lemonade, depending on the princess's palate). 1942 E. Seventh St., 704-372-9599,

Dressed to: Kiddie Coutoure

As you enter this Latta Pavilion boutique, the pink walls, crystal chandeliers, and Haute Baby raspberry tutu set ($89) tip you off immediately: you're in a princess palace at Peek-A-Boo Couture. But while owner Candace Khashman says she knows taffeta gowns and cashmere sweaters are the stuff of your darling's daydreams, she tries to keep parents' pocketbooks in mind too. "I've got a few really fancy dresses over $100, but most are in the $68 to $78 range," she says. "In this economy, I'm really trying to stay below a certain price point." Favorite lines include Zachali 4 Kids, Baby Gassy Gooma, and Glorimont, but look for the fashion to get a little bit edgier soon, as Khashman plans to add Ed Hardy and Juicy Couture and seriously beef up the boys' options.

Summer must have

China Doll shoes with sequin details, $48 Special feature: A wide selection of merchandise, much of it on sale, can be purchased off the Web site, 1315 East Blvd., Ste. 150, 704-332-5338

Rainbow Cake

• 1 box Betty Crocker® white angel food cake mix
• 1 1/4 cups cold water
• 1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange peel
• Red, yellow, and green liquid food colors
• 1 cup Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting (from 1-pound container)
• 12 to 15 square candy fruit chews

Move oven rack to lowest position (remove other racks). Heat oven to 350°F.

In extra-large glass or metal bowl, beat cake mix, water and lemon peel with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds; beat on medium speed 1 minute.

Divide batter evenly among three bowls. Gently stir six to eight drops of one food color into each of the batters. Pour red batter into ungreased 10-inch angel food (tube) cake pan. (Do not use fluted tube cake pan or 9-inch angel food pan or batter will overflow.) Spoon yellow batter over red batter. Spoon green batter over top.

Bake 37 to 47 minutes or until top is dark golden brown and cracks feel very dry and not sticky. Do not underbake. Immediately turn pan upside down onto glass bottle until cake is completely cool, about 2 hours. Run knife around edges of cake; remove from pan to serving plate.

Spoon 1/2 cup of the frosting into microwaveable bowl. Microwave uncovered on High about 15 seconds or until frosting can be stirred smooth and is thin enough to drizzle. (Or spoon frosting into 1-quart saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until thin enough to drizzle.) Drizzle over cake.

Place remaining frosting in decorating bag with writing tip. Pipe a ribbon and bow on each candy square to look like a wrapped package. Arrange packages on top of cake. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Categories: Feature