4-year-old Lance Fallon likes pizza better than telethons
As a guest on the MDA Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, Lance Fallon will sing for thousands, rub elbows with the stars and even sign a few autographs.
But what's the 4-year-old really excited about?
"Eating chicken and pizza," says Lance, who was diagnosed several years ago with spinal muscular atrophy, the leading genetic cause of infant mortality.
The precocious redhead made his mark during last year's local muscular dystrophy telethon with his rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
In January, he was named Maryland's poster child and booked for the national telethon, which airs tonight at 11:25 and continues through 6:30 p.m. tomorrow on WMAR-TV (Channel 2).
A kitchen calendar in the family's Parkville home is filled with guest appearances that Lance and his favorite stuffed animal, Snoopy, make around the state, including events at K mart, Hardee's and Harley Davidson dealerships.
During his five-day stay in Las Vegas -- or Vas Legas as he calls it -- Lance also plans to have a few words with Mr. Lewis.
He says, "I'm going to tell him to stop being so silly."
Alvin Mayes came to the world of dance by way of the football field.
He dislocated his knee scoring a touchdown for the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
After being sent to a dance therapist, the former lineman was hooked, and touchdowns gave way to plies.
Now as the new artistic director of the Ellicott City-based Kinetics Dance Company, Mr. Mayes hopes to make dance as approachable as he found it 20 years ago.
To that end, he is incorporating characters from literature and cartoons -- including Alice in Wonderland, Li'l Abner and Mickey Mouse -- into his work.
"If there is some kind of handle for an audience to hold on to, dance becomes easier to accept," says Mr. Mayes, 44, who lives in Mount Rainier.
But as the man in charge of everything from publicity to costumes for the repertory company, he finds his new job -- along with his continuing duties as a dance teacher at the University of Maryland at College Park -- slightly daunting.
His anxiety lessens, however, when he contemplates the satisfaction his profession can bring.
"I feel quite elated when things have gone well, like an actor or skilled magician," he says. "You've not just done the steps or said the words. You've made art happen."