Dance students are Broadway-bound


SIX YOUNG dancers from Carroll County Dance Center in Sykesville are going to a New York dance studio to perform Sunday.

They will be accompanied by family and friends who are eager to witness a performance that is the culmination of years of dance lessons and hours of rehearsal. Dedicated parents and dance instructors have played a key role in their success.

The six 11- and 12-year-old girls - Becca Conkling, Lisa Feroli, Megan Franey, Stephanie Hettchen, Catherine Whiteford and Brittani Williams - share a devotion to dance that began as early as age 3. They take tap, ballet and jazz classes for up to 12 hours a week.

Choreographer and dance instructor Ashleigh Haker initiated the trip by sending a taped performance of the girls to Broadway Dance Center in New York, a studio frequented by Broadway dancers and other theatrical professionals.

Studios throughout the country submit tapes, according to Haker, with the hope of participating in the Young Performers' Showcase. The showcase brings together choreographers and their students, ages 11 to 20, to share their work and exchange ideas.

Haker was excited that her students' tape was accepted, and her group was invited to perform at the center's Richard Ellner Theatre. Her six dancers have been practicing a tap performance to the music of "American Wake" from Riverdance.

The audience and a panel will vote for the top choreographers.

The mothers of the Sykesville dancers congregated outside the studio Saturday to watch their daughters rehearse.

"Little did we know it would come to this," said Beth Whiteford, referring to the hours spent at the dance center and her daughter's dedication to taking as many dance classes as possible.

The mothers agreed their daughter arrange most of their activities around dance.

Haker frequently drops in on studios in New York and Los Angeles to note trends and keep her students on the cutting edge. If time allows, the six Carroll County performers hope to attend classes at the New York studio on this trip.

Basket bingo

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Community, 915 Liberty Road, will hold basket bingo at 7 p.m. Friday in the gym.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Tickets are available in advance for $10, or for $12 at the door. Table reservations are being taken. Food and refreshments will be available.

Information: 410-795-7425 or 410-795-5538.

Shrove Tuesday pancakes

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church on Main Street in Sykesville is holding a pancake lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and pancake dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. today.

Admission is $5; $2.50 for children ages 3 to 12; and free for children younger than age 3. A bake table will be available.

Information: 410-795-0767.

Debra Taylor Young's neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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