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Christmas gifts
Christmas gifts
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Capezio Athletes dish on worst holiday gifts

  • May 17, 2016
  • by Stephanie Wolf

An oversized wool sweater with a giant Santa face on it, a stale loaf of fruitcake, a re-gifted, heinous tree ornament. These are some of the unfortunate holiday gifts found under the tree or by the menorah.

And no one is immune – even Capezio Athletes. Read on for the worst or strangest holiday gifts received by these pro dancers.

DeWitt Fleming, Jr.

Tap dancer DeWitt Fleming says his grandmother is an avid thrift-store shopper and “notorious for giving not-so pleasant gifts” during the holidays. One year particularly stands out in his memory:

“I opened the gift to find two big pairs of 80s-style tube socks,” Fleming says, “not too bad.”

But that wasn’t the entire gift.

“Under the socks were a pair of neon-green boxers with Christmas trees,” Fleming says.

Again, it doesn’t end there.

“As I picked the boxers up to do my big thank you, I noticed two embroidered letters on the boxers,” Fleming continues. “These were someone’s used boxers! I threw them down immediately and couldn’t even muster out a ‘Thank you’ to my grandma.”

Kalani Hilliker

Kalani Hilliker of reality series Dance Moms says her worst Christmas gift was intended as a joke from her uncle.

Though, Hilliker didn’t find the box of coal she received very funny.

Adrienne Canterna

Adrienne Canterna, of Bad Boys and Pretty Girls of Dance, says her funniest or worst holiday gift was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sweater she received when she was eight.

“I opened it and said, ‘No thank you, this must be for a boy,’” Canterna says.

Jared Grimes

Quadruple-threat Jared Grimes, whose choreography has appeared on Broadway and in Cirque de Soleil shows, says the funniest gift he ever received for Christmas came from his Aunt Maxine.

“One Christmas, I was so excited to see what she got me,” Grimes says. “When I opened the present, I found a three-pack of Fruit of the Loom underwear.”

Not sure what to say, Grimes innocently asked, “Underwear?”

“I guess it sounded unappreciative,” Grimes adds, “because milliseconds later came the warm smack of my mom’s hand to the back of my head. Our entire family busted out in laughter and I continued opening presents far away from my mom just in case she felt like popping me again.”

Sophia Lucia

Sophia Lucia, who currently holds the world record for most pirouettes, says her oddest holiday gift came from her Uncle Mike last year – a yellow fly swatter.

“Not sure if it was a gag gift or if he thought I could actually put it to good use,” Lucia says with a laugh. “I think he must have shopped at the 99 cent store.”

Demi Remick

Tapper Demi Remick – who Dance Magazine named as one of its “25 to Watch” in 2014 – says she can remember three horrific Christmas gifts over the years. But one is particularly “haunting.”

Remick says she was obsessed with Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) in the fifth grade. But she wasn’t as thrilled with the life-size cutout of the tween pop star that her friend gave her.

“[My sister and I] would wake up in the middle of the night or walk into our dark room completely terrified that someone was in there waiting to kill us,” Remick says of the cutout. “The dark silhouette of a life-size Hannah Montana haunted us so much that we decided we had to get rid of it. We were too scared to throw her away, fearful that she would come to life and kill us for revenge, so we stuffed her away in our little brother’s closet. She may still be in there.”

Alison Stroming

Ballet San Jose corps de ballet member Alison Stroming recalls an odd gift she received by a relative when she was 14.

“One of my aunts gave me a bunch of books,” Stroming says. “One book was What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Maybe she was supposed to give that one to my older sisters?!”

Produced by Dance Informa.

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