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North Laurel/Savage: Howard high school students unite in all-county dance ensemble

Howard County has an all-county dance ensemble.

After a thorough audition, dancers from each of the county’s high schools were selected by Brooke Kuhl-McClelland, Hammond High School instructional team leader, and special guest New York-based dancer, educator and choreographer Nathaniel Hunt and his colleague Allie Gee.

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Hunt and Gee also helped choreograph a group performance, and Oakland Mills High School dance teacher Holli Tucci served as ensemble co-coordinator.

In a statement, Hunt said, “What excites me the most about leading this group, is that I have the opportunity to cultivate, educate and mentor a talented, humble and passionate group of young dancers.”

The 24 dancers learned a contemporary dance to the artist Senking’s “Shading” song.

Alondra Torres, a junior at Reservoir High School, was selected as a member of the all-county dance troupe. She enjoys all styles of dance, especially contemporary, tap and jazz. She plans to study dance in college and pursue a career in the industry. Torres hopes to eventually open her own dance studio.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given to be part of the ensemble,” Torres said. "I got to work with the choreographers and meet other people who share the same passion as me.”

A captain of the Hammond High School Dance Company, Olivia Wofford, also selected to be part of the ensemble, specializes in all types of dance but her favorite is contemporary. A junior, after high school she has her sights set on being a member of a college dance team.

Stephanie Wang is a sophomore dancer at Atholton High School, and member of the company. She enjoys contemporary/modern, jazz and hip hop. She hopes to join a college dance team and plans to participate in drop-in classes at nearby dance studios as well.

The Howard County Dance Festival, she said, was “a great experience to meet and become friends with dancers around the county and create something special. The atmosphere and energy during the rehearsals and shows was so positive and supportive, it all felt like one big family with everyone cheering for each other regardless of which school they go to. Performing onstage with all your friends was one of the best feelings ever and everyone could feel that the hard work paid off. I loved every second of it and would do it again.”

Historic Black Schools is the topic for discussion at the next Savage Historical Society meeting. Bessie Bordenave will be the presenter at the meeting on Monday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Faith and Ministry Center in Savage. The meeting is free and open to all.

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