The list was posted outside the gymnasium.

Only 14 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade girls had been chosen from the 60 who auditioned to be one of the Foxy Ladies, a 7-year-old dance program offeredto the students of George Fox Elementary.

"We jumped and started screaming," said seventh-grader, Becky Porter, describing the girls' reaction to seeing their names on the list. "I must have looked threeor four times before I believed it," added Jessica Curran, a sixth-grader who was also chosen.

Since that memorable day last September, the girls have been hard at work with various splits, jumps, turns and almost-perfect synchronization to prepare their challenging danceroutines for annual spring performances.

Highlights this year forthe dancers include a Feb. 15 performance at George Fox Elementary and a tour of several other elementary schools in the area to promote their routines later this month.

To participate, each of the 14 girls -- two sixth-graders, six seventh-graders and six eighth-graders -- must maintain a C average.

"They're hard workers," explained Pam Swaggerty, who, with Karen Ohl, advises and choreographs the group."It's their last chance to shine before going on to high school, so they try hard, and we're very proud of them."

During the five months of grueling rehearsals, the girls also became good friends, even though they are different ages. "At first, we didn't think that the older kids would accept us," said sixth-grader Shelly Guy. "But they did."

"All of the girls accentuate the positive," added Swaggerty. "They know they're only as strong as their weakest link, so they all pull together."

Swaggerty and Ohl have always encouraged pulling together and meeting new people while dancing. So last August, they introduced a dance camp for any elementary school students interested indancing. The dancers were encouraged to dance for fun, but for thoseinterested, they were taught a dance routine that could be performedfor the September auditions at George Fox.

The advisers aren't the only ones who support the girls, though.

"We have so much support from the parents. They make costumes, raise money and drive the kids to rehearsals and performances," Swaggerty said.

"We really enjoy it," said eighth-grader Nicole Buch. "And it really works us to ourlimit."

In Friday's Anne Arundel County Sun, George Fox Middle School was incorrectly identified as an elementary school.The Anne Arundel County Sun regrets the error.
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