John Ciambruschini likes to make sure athletes are fit
When linebackers and receivers are in the market for clothes, John Ciambruschini is the man they call.
During the last six years, the Charles Village tailor has taken his tape measure to the likes of players for the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills.
"Someone has to dress these people. They can't go into stores and buy clothing like everybody else," says the 53-year-old father of two, who lives in Towson.
Particularly not when you're Bills' offensive tackle Howard Ballard, who at 6 feet 6 inches and 315 pounds presents Mr. Ciambruschini with his greatest challenge.
"If you can fit him, you feel like you've accomplished something," he says with a laugh.
He began working with athletes when Baltimore native Carlton Bailey, who plays for the Bills, stopped by his North Charles street store, Custom Gentleman Limited.
He now travels to Buffalo regularly to make sure several football stars stay fashionable off the field.
Now he's setting his sights on expanding his cadre of well-dressed players. He's contacted the Redskins and Bullets, but his real goal is to work with Evander Holyfield one day.
PD Says Mr. Ciambruschini, "He epitomizes the ideal physical form."
5/8 Friends always know when Edna Simmons-Bennett is
choreographing a new dance. Meetings, assignments, even meals are put on hold as she disappears into her studio for hours.
"I become a recluse. I have to be that way to get into the art and stay with the energy," says the founder and director of Scope Dancers, who lives in West Baltimore.
Such concentration is even more important as Ms. Simmons-Bennett begins the arduous process of making the 25-member repertory company, based at Coppin State College, a force on the local arts scene.
While the group focuses on jazz and modern dance, she takes an "Afrocentric" approach to choreography and often blends other ethnic influences, including Japanese and Spanish traditions, in her work.
The daughter of a dancer, she grew up taking ballet classes and even studied with an off-Broadway troupe.
In 1979 she began teaching at Coppin and is now married to a fellow instructor there. At age 42, she has given up on dancing herself and concentrates on choreography instead.
"I haven't thought about fame," she says. "I just want people to leave a performance feeling as though the spell of the experience will stay with them."