Dance show to mix ballet, tap, jazz and acrobatics

June 22, 1994|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Contributing Writer

Hot off the presses comes the Rhythm in Shoes Dance Studio's stage show, "A News Sensation," at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and Friday at North Carroll High School in Hampstead.

The Footnotes Dance Company, a troupe from the studio, combines popular rock, children's tales and newspaper stories from its award-winning production numbers as part of the show.

There are even bits of advice from lovelorn columns set to popular songs with a twist, such as "Little sister, don't do what your big sister has done" and "Get a haircut and a real job" set to jazz.

The two-hour show will include about 200 students, from young children to adults, performing ballet, tap, jazz and acrobatic numbers in a strongly choreographed production designed to entertain the whole family.

Tickets cost $5 per person, with all proceeds benefiting the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore.

Kelly Cochran owns and runs the Rhythm in Shoes Dance Studio at 1365 N. Main St., Hampstead, where she has taught children and adults to dance for the past five years.

Two years ago she created the Footnotes Dance Company, a group of young people who have taken their program to a variety of competitions.

Next month, after competitions from Baltimore to Virginia during the spring, the 22 girls will go to Orlando, Fla., for the national finals with Starlight Productions.

"They've been performing only since September, and they've been getting very high scores -- first and second places in the competitions," Ms. Cochran said.

"They also qualified for the National Dance Championships at Myrtle Beach, S.C., but we've selected Florida because it fits our time frame better."

The Footnotes Dance Company consists of two groups -- 12 juniors, ages 9 to 12 years, and 10 seniors, 13 to 16. The girls have to audition each year for the troupe.

"They're a very dedicated group and they make my job fun," Ms. Cochran said. "They practice only five hours a week, which is less than our competitors, but they're working very hard and they're doing very well."

The dancers get extra practice by doing community service performances, including Hampstead's Concert in the Park last fall, a Christmas show at Cranberry Mall and entertaining at the Hampstead Business Expo in February.

The competition season for the troupe opened in March at Paramount's Kings Dominion Dance Fest '94, where the juniors took first place with the jazz dance "Batty Rap." The seniors' tap dance to "Jailhouse Rock" earned second place.

At the regional Showstoppers National Dance Championships in April at Bowie State University, the juniors placed fourth with "Batty Rap."

In three dance style competitions, the seniors placed second with "Jailhouse Rock," fourth with the character dance "Little Red Riding Hood," and fifth with the jazz number "Whoop, There It Is."

The girls did even better at a second regional competition, also at Bowie, that was sponsored by Starlight Productions.

"The dancers worked very hard to prepare a production dance called 'Down at the Twist and Shout,' based on Mary-Chapin Carpenter's song, where both groups tap together," Ms. Cochran said.

"They placed first in the production category for that."

The juniors also placed first with "Batty Rap" in the open category; the seniors took first with "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Jailhouse Rock"; and second place for "Whoop, There It Is" and "High School Confidential."

"The seniors placed two overall best performances with the highest scores in the division," Ms. Cochran said. "When they won $200 cash, they claimed they made bail [for 'Jailhouse Rock']."

Both groups are trying to raise money for the Florida trip, which they want to extend into a mini-vacation, Ms. Cochran said. The girls are selling candy and having other fund-raisers, as well as asking for contributions from the community.

For information on this week's show or helping the Footnotes Dance Company finance its trip, call Ms. Cochran at 374-1313 or 848-2662.

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