For Teresa Whittemore it all started with a winning raffle ticket in fifth grade.
The prize could not have been a more perfect gift — a year of free dance classes won at the Northfield Elementary School Carnival.
"I had been begging my parents (Daniel and Melinda Whittemore) for dance classes," said the Centennial High School senior.
The raffle ticket set her on an eight-year journey in the dance world that culminated recently in afour-yearscholarship to the University of Maryland Baltimore County as a Linehan Artists Scholar.
The UMBC program awards scholarships to students who have distinguished themselves both artistically and academically. In the last eight years, the graduating senior has done just that.
At Ellicott City's Kinetics Dance Theatre, Whittemore studied ballet, pointe, modern, lyrical, jazz and hip hop, while keeping high marks at C.H.S. with a rigorous course load filled with honors and advanced placement classes.
Whether she's participating in Kinetics' Apprentice Dance Company, in Howard Community College's Dance Company or attending classes with Kinetics' Student Companies in New York City through The Ailey Extension and New York City Ballet, Whittemore is training to hone her craft.
"I don't know anyone who dances more than Teresa," said her father Daniel Whittemore remarking on his daughter's seven-day-a-week dance schedule.
Although she has studied various styles of dance, she "is a ballerina at heart." However,she has known for "a longer time" that she wants to be a teacher. Her dream is to combine her love of dancing and teaching to help kids in "inner city Baltimore and juvenile detention centers." With her work this year as a substitute teacher at Kinetics and as a student teacher at CHS, she's well on her way to accomplishing her goal.
Don't miss Whittemore in Kinetics Dance Theatre's Apprentice and Student Dance Companies upcoming performance of "Spectrum" on Saturday, April 16 at 1 and 4 p.m. at the Howard County Arts Center, 8510 High Ridge Road in Ellicott City.
She will be performing two group numbers as well as the solo "Stone Cold," choreographed by Meagan Singleton.
The companies are comprised of 38 dancers in grades fourth through 12th, directed by Becca Sigmund, Alex J. Krebs, Erin Gum, and Meagan Singleton.
Recently the United Maryland Muslim Council (UMMC) hosted a primary candidate forum in Howard County that attracted 200 people.
Over 40 candidates in state and county races, representing the Democrat, Republican and third parties, participated in the event including former Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Congressman John Sarbanes and Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
Each candidate introduced themselves to the Muslim community and presented their priorities in the election.
"All candidates recognized the contribution of Muslim Americans and their service to the country and commended Muslim community for keeping steadfast through the political rhetoric by some candidates," a UMMC press release stated.
Over 350,000 Muslims live in Maryland remarked UMMC President Rizwan Siddiqi in his opening address. The Ellicott City resident "urged Muslims to get united and involved in the political process."
For more information about UMMC and its candidate forum go to www.ummc-md.org
On Tuesday, April 26, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Glen Mar United Methodist Churchinvites the community to its spaghetti dinner fundraiser.
Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the scholarship and building funds for The Ecole Gerny Filostin Primary School being constructed in Merger, Haiti. Tickets are $7 per person and can be purchased at door.The Ellicott City church is located at 4701 New Cut Road. Go to www.glenmarumc.org/ to learn more about Glen Mar Church.
Calling all pet lovers. Petvalu Store Manager Kori Gorham informed me the Turf Valley Towne Square store is hosting several upcoming events including animal adoption fairs and pet food tasting.
On Friday, April 15 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. meet the great danes from the Mid Atlantic Great Danes Adoption group. On Sunday, April 17, from noon to 3 p.m., meet the pets from the Animal Allies Rescue Foundation. On Friday, April 22 ,from 4 to 6 p.m., bring your pets for a Weruva pet food tasting.
On the weekend of April 23 and 24, the store will host a two-day fair. On Saturday, April 23 the fair will include the Mid Atlantic turtle and tortoise society (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.), Primal pet food tastings (noon to 2 p.m) and Cats R Us cat adoptions ( 3 to 6 p.m.). Then on Sunday, April 24, the day starts with live jazz music, Friends of Rabbits adoptions and Pin Ups for Pitbulls (noon to 3 p.m.), followed by Camp Bow Wow (1 to 4 p.m.) and Sunshine's friend cat rescue adoptions (4 to6 p.m.).
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For more information about Petvalu events, go to us.petvalu.com or email email@example.com. The store is located at 11099 Resort Road in Ellicott City.