The Ellicott City Ballet Guild will celebrate its 10th anniversary with two performances Friday and Sunday featuring guest artists and former guild members.
"It's a sampling of our productions over the past 10 years," said Caryl Maxwell, the company's founder and director. "If people have not seen us before this would be an opportunity to get a sense of the range of work that we do."
The guild is the performing arm of the Caryl Maxwell Classical Ballet school, which opened in 1975 under the direction of Maxwell, a former professional ballet dancer. The company has grown from 15 dancers giving five performances for the 1981-1982 season to over 30 dancers giving 10 performances in the 1991-1992 season.
Maxwell, who has danced professionally at the New York City Opera and Radio City Music Hall, has plans for the Ellicott City Ballet Guild to expand its performing schedule and develop into a core group of professional dancers.
"We already perform as much as many small professional groups," Maxwell said.
Ballet students must be at least 10 years old andpass an audition to become a member of the company, which is geared toward preparing serious dancers for stage performances.
Former guild members have gone on to professional careers with established dance companies including American Ballet Theatre, the Alvin Ailey DanceCompany, the Elliot Feld Ballet and the Sacramento Ballet.
"We have some very talented and highly motivated dancers," Maxwell said. "It's always a thrill for me to have visiting teachers come in."
The25-member guild has been rehearsing for the 10th anniversary celebration for two months. The performance will include returning guild members Mark Ryder, 70, who played Scrooge in several guild productions of "A Christmas Carol"; Roger Wade, area dancer and teacher; JenniferKashuba, of the Dance Dimension company; and Ethel Leslie, a principal dancer with the Annapolis Ballet.
Guest artists will include Sylvester Campbell, internationally known dancer and former dance director at the Baltimore School for the Arts; Tom Terry, formerly of the Joffrey Ballet; and Mario Cabral, formerly of the Pennsylvania Ballet.
The Ellicott City Ballet Guild will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre. Tickets are $10-$12.