Cockeysville: Middle school dance club puts best feet forward

Cockeysville Middle School's Dance Club was invited to participate in a swing dance seminar at the Maryland Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance convention, held Oct. 21 at the Hunt Valley Marriott Hotel.

The Dance Club also was invited to teach basic swing dancing at the "Red Hot Swing Fling" to the eighth grade classes of the Gilman School and The Roland Park Country School on Nov. 8 at Gilman's gymnasium.


According to Robert Russell, Cockeysville Middle School physical education/health/dance teacher and club sponsor, more than 60 students participated in both events, showcasing their swing dance expertise.

"This is the second year in a row the club has been invited to participate in the MAHPERD convention," he said, noting that the convention is "a gathering of professionals in the health, physical education and dance fields that exchange ideas and activities."


The students helped instruct PE teachers and college students majoring in physical education. The seminar was 50 minutes long and well received.

At the Gilman event, students and Russell, with the assistance of Suzanne Henneman, resource teacher in the Office of Dance, Baltimore County Public Schools, led a 90-minute seminar including basic dance movement, line dancing and beginning steps to swing dancing.

According to Russell, by the end of the seminar, many of the students had mastered the basic steps and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Verna Moore, head of The Roland Park Country School's Middle School, and Peter Kwiterovich, head of The Gilman Middle School, helped set up and coordinate the event.

"Roots of Steel," a presentation and book signing will be held Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012, at 2 p.m. at the Historical Society of Baltimore County Almshouse, 9811 Van Buren Lane, Cockeysville.

When Deborah Rudacille was a child, growing up in Dundalk,, a worker at the local Sparrows Point steel mill made more than enough to comfortably support a family. But that was before the decline of the American steel industry put tens of thousands of employees out of work and left the people of Dundalk pondering the broken promise of the American dream.

Through personal narratives, interviews with workers, and extensive research, "Roots of Steel" details the history of the communities around Sparrows Point and looks at racial, class, and gender politics that played out at the mill since 1889.

Rudacille details the work at the plant, the environmental cost of industrial progress and the social cost of the loss of that industry for a once prosperous and proud community.

This event is free to HSBC members, or $5 per person for nonmembers. Register by calling 410-666-1878 or e-mail info@hsobc.org.

On Dec. 4 at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts in Owings Mills, the Towson-based Children's Chorus of Maryland extended its inaugural "Wings of Song" award to Nancy Grasmick. The award was presented at the chorus' "Snow Fantasy" Concert.

The award was presented with appreciation and pride in honoring Grasmick for her part in helping children's voices soar, and for her work and dedication to the enrichment of children's lives, as well as her support of the arts.

Grasmick was the first woman to hold the post of Maryland school superintendent. Of special significance has been Grasmick's leadership in the Arts in Education in Maryland Schools Alliance.


The AEMS Alliance sponsors an annual Cultural Arts for Education conference each spring. CAFE offers networking opportunities to members of the arts and education community who seek to encourage partnerships supporting the Fine Arts State Curriculum.

Meeting twice weekly for 36 years, Children's Chorus of Maryland and School of Music is one of the oldest programs of vocal literacy training and choral music education in the United States.

Offering childhood music education programs beginning at age 4, the Children's Chorus program is composed of 10 graded levels of musicianship classes and three choirs. The choirs regularly perform in venues such as the White House, Carnegie Hall, Hawaii and Disney World.

Don't forget that Baltimore County Public Schools will be closed from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2 and will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.

Happy Holidays to one and all and may the New Year bring health and happiness to everyone!

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