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NEIGHBORS / SHORT TAKES : Model Tykes : Organizers look forward to Sunday's Conejo Valley Days Tiny Tots Contest--if they can find enough boys to compete.

March 11, 1993|LEO SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Just like last year, the Conejo Valley Days Tiny Tots Contest, scheduled for this Sunday at The Oaks mall in Thousand Oaks, has been struggling to find a few good boys.

Contest organizers had every intention of lining up 25 males and 25 females, ages 3 to 5, for the contest. The girls turned out in large numbers, but the boys--well, you know how boys are. They've been a bit slow in signing up. The deadline for registration has been extended through Friday.

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Tiny Tot Two: So how does the Tiny Tots pageant work?

"They come up a set of stairs, walk down a ramp, stop, and say hello to the judges," said Elaine Morgan, the contest organizer. "They don't do a little act." Nor, we understand, do they wear evening gowns or tuxes. Crayon stains can be messy.

Morgan said the tots are judged on general appearance, personality and poise.

"Usually they are very poised," she said. "Some are a little hesitant, but queens and princesses from other pageants in town, the older girls, help them."

The judges then confer and select a Tiny Tot King and a Tiny Tot Queen. Last year's King and Queen Tot will crown the new pair.

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This just in: Last week was Procrastination Week.

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Thousand Oaks magician-comic Jeff Peterson ignored the advice of a friend. If he had heeded it, he wouldn't be working with birds, and he certainly wouldn't be making them appear out of fire.

"They're a little difficult at times," he said. "They're unpredictable. Birds have been known to mount one another on stage. It makes it difficult to keep the audience's attention."

Believe it or not, Peterson doesn't rank a bird mating incident as his most embarrassing onstage moment. That honor, he said, would go to the time an audience member collapsed after he got her up on stage.

"I thought she was drunk," he said. "She was weaving back and forth. It turned out to be an extreme case of stage fright. She passed out."

Peterson will be performing at Flynnstone's Comedy Club at the Howard Johnson's Lodge in Thousand Oaks on Friday and Saturday evening.

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Ventura's Claddagh School of Irish Dancing will host a dinner dance on St. Patrick's Day (Wednesday) in hopes of raising enough money to send 20 members to the international dance championships in Chicago this year. The corned beef and cabbage feast will be held at the Gem and Mineral Building at the Ventura County Fairgrounds from 6 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $12.50 for dinner and dance, $5 for dance alone. And no, you won't be asked to do the jig. The dancing will be of the basic social variety. Reservations are required, so call 643-6922, 644-3927 or 482-4769.

Eight-year-old Stephanie Serwe is one of the locals expected to compete at the international competition. Last year the Camarillo girl came in third in the girls' under-8 division, finishing behind two dancers from Ireland.

We asked Claddagh instructor Maire O'Connell how competitive the dance contest can get. "Dreadfully," she said. "Serwe is going back, and she's out for blood."

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