Columbia dancers, figure skaters going to sister cities fete in France


September 10, 1997|By Kathy Curtis | Kathy Curtis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

TEEN-AGE DANCERS and figure skaters will represent Columbia at a sister cities celebration under way in Cergy-Pontoise, France.

The monthlong event marks the 20th anniversary of Columbia's sister city relationship with the French town.

Members of Dance Dimension -- a modern dance company for teen-agers and young adults based at Slayton House -- will fly to France on Tuesday.

Leading the group will be director Marilyn Byers, assisted by choreographer Carol Tester.

The travelers will include Michelle Nowell, Michelle Wilkins and Vera Dianova -- all students at Wilde Lake High School -- as well as Atholton High School students Alissa Zingman and Leah Friedberg.

Also in the group will be Oakland Mills High School students Jennifer Keast, Laura Birzak, Holly DeSantis and Rachel Ferrara; Hammond High School student Ashley Robinson, and Howard High School student Nicole Green.

Dance Dimension is to be the featured entertainment at a performance Sept. 20.

A week later, the dancers will be on a program with performers from Cergy-Pontoise and its other sister cities in England, Germany and China.

For the dance performance, Byers has put together a multicultural program.

One dance focuses on preservation of the rain forests, while another focuses on the impact of war on children.

A dance about the making of silk uses elements of the Chinese ribbon dance.

Dance Dimension will perform "Gold," a dance Byers choreographed for the Australian bicentennial in the 1980s.

She won a Kennedy Center medal for the piece, which premiered in Australia.

The dance is about the mining of gold, said Byers, but also about finding gold in each other and polishing it by our interactions.

Byers praised the Columbia community for supporting young people's arts programs.

In turn, she said, "the community reaps the reward in what the kids bring back to the schools to share with others."

The sister cities celebration also includes a sports event from Sept. 25 to 28.

Participating in the figure skating exhibition Sept. 27 will be Lauren Havery of Harper's Choice and Amanda Buckler of Oakland Mills.

Both are intermediate level freestyle skaters.

Help for car buyers

If you have ever dreaded walking into a new-car showroom or onto a used-car lot, Lynn Zwerling of Clary's Forest would like to help.

Zwerling will conduct a seminar called Pain-free Car Buying 101 at 7: 30 p.m. tomorrow at Kahler Hall.

She will repeat the session at 7: 30 p.m. Oct. 15 at Historic Oakland on Vantage Point Road.

The 90-minute seminar will cover topics such as the test drive, trade-ins, pricing, financing, warranties and service departments.

Zwerling will explain how to research vehicles, using books, magazines and the Internet.

Zwerling sold cars for more than five years, but she gave it up about six months ago.

"I realized I was on the wrong side of the desk," she said.

She added that she was "constantly in trouble" with her supervisors because she wanted to help the buyers.

"The consumer is at a very unfair disadvantage," she said. "I saw a need to be an intermediary."

So Zwerling set up a consulting business to help consumers.

In addition to giving seminars to community groups, she also provides one-on-one assistance to buyers, including accompanying them to the dealership to negotiate the sale.

The fee for the seminar is $6; there is no charge for senior citizens. registration is requested.

For tomorrow's session, call Kahler Hall at 410-730-3888.

For the Oct. 15 seminar, call the Town Center office at 410-730-4744.

Book wins quality seal

"The Kids' College Almanac: A First Look at College," written by Hickory Ridge resident Barbara Greenfeld, has been awarded the Family Channel Seal of Quality.

The award was established two years ago to recognize a "new standard of excellence in the entertainment industry," according to the organization's literature.

Greenfeld, who is director of admissions and advising at Howard Community College, wrote the book to demystify college for 10- to 14-year-olds.

It was published last year.

The book -- Greenfeld's first -- has been recognized as a "Best Book for Teens" by the New York Public Library.

Pub Date: 9/10/97

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