Baltimore County urges residents to Take a Leap
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 11:55

County Dance Celebration runs until March 16

by Nicole Rodman

    Baltimore County is encouraging residents to broaden their horizons and try something new during the Take a Leap Baltimore County Dance Celebration.
    The first-time event is being hosted by the Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences and the Gordon Center for Performing Arts in Owings Mills.
    The celebration, which runs through March 16, features a variety of dance performances, workshops, film screenings and art exhibits.
    “Baltimore County has gathered our rich and varied dance community together to create dozens of opportunities to ‘take a leap’,” Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said. “This is a great new addition to Baltimore County’s arts scene.”
    During the Dance Celebration, Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) will get in on the fun with events at schools throughout the county.
    “We support the mission of highlighting dance in Baltimore County and have many dance events that fit within the celebration timeline,” Sonia Synkowski, dance resource teacher with the BCPS Office of Music and Dance Education, explained. “This is a great opportunity to showcase dance throughout the county, and the schools have many activities happening as a result.”
    Last Thursday, BCPS kicked off its participation in the Baltimore County Dance Celebration with the 8th annual Student Choreography Showcase, held, as always, at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts.
    During the day-long event, dance students from schools across the county participated in master classes hosted by dance professionals.
    That evening, 25 students presented performances to family, friends, classmates and community members.
    According to Synkowski, students participating in the showcase were chosen by their individual school.

“Each school has a different process for selecting student work,” she noted, adding, “This is certainly used as an opportunity to recognize student achievement and highlight those students who have dedicated themselves to the process of making a dance.”
    In addition to the Student Choreography Showcase, BCPS is promoting dance education by welcoming Company E to select schools.
    A Washington, D.C.-based international dance troupe, Company E was first established in 2011.
    This year marks the first time the group has worked with BCPS.
    From Feb. 18 through 20, members of Company E will provide classes in contemporary dance to students at 10 county schools.
    The dance troupe will work with students at Patapsco on Feb. 20.
    As Synkowski explained, “The students will see the caliber of a dance professional firsthand and understand the physical requirements necessary to follow this path.”
    “These master classes will push the students in a new direction and bring a fresh perspective to the classroom,” she added.
    On March 15 and 16, CCBC Dundalk will close out the county Dance Celebration by hosting the 8th annual Dancing for a Common Ground Benefit Concert.
    Common Ground is a non-profit professional dance company that operates in the Greater Baltimore area.
    Each year, Common Ground hosts a concert to benefit a local program or organization. This year’s concert will benefit the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Dynamic Dance Program.
    “Dynamic Dance is an after-school program for children with therapeutic needs, allowing them to express themselves through music and dance,” Dyana Janoscak, president and managing director of Common Ground, explained.
    The Dancing for a Common Ground Benefit Concert will be held on Saturday, March 15, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 16, at 2 p.m. at the John E. Ravekes Theatre at CCBC Dundalk, 7200 Sollers Point Road.
    Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for seniors.
    To purchase tickets, visit www.commonground
    For more information on the Take a Leap Baltimore County Dance Celebration, visit