Longtime dance teacher's students to be showcased

NEIGHBORS

January 10, 2001|By Donna Koros Stramella | Donna Koros Stramella,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

EVEN THOUGH Dianne Rosso-Freeman attended college on a teaching grant, she says she never thought she would have a career in education. She planned to teach for two years after graduation - a grant requirement - and move on to another profession.

It didn't play out that way for Rosso-Freeman. In her 29th year of teaching at Glen Burnie High School, she says she would never want to teach anywhere else.

The Anne Arundel County native finds herself in a win-win situation at the school. "I get to teach a wonderful group of students a subject that I love," she says.

The subject is dance.

A theater arts and dance major in college, she was hired at GBHS to teach "acting arts" classes and choreograph school musicals. She soon started an after-school dance club.

Three years after arriving at the school, she offered a dance class as part of the regular course selections. Twenty-five students enrolled. Today, there are more than 200 students in the eight dance classes taught each semester, the most in any Maryland high school.

Like all the other students Rosso-Freeman has instructed over the years, these dancers are ready to show what they've learned.

At 7 p.m. tomorrow, "An Evening of Dance" will be staged at GBHS, highlighting the talent of about 250 young people in more than 25 numbers.

Tickets are $5. Children 6 and younger are admitted free. Doors open at 6 p.m., and a sellout is possible.

"The whole community comes out," Rosso-Freeman said. "There are more people who come to the dance show than any other event at Glen Burnie High."

All production numbers are carefully choreographed and costumed. Song selections include numbers from the Dave Matthews Band, Alanis Morisette, Britney Spears and Creed. One number features Glen Burnie's answer to N'Sync, a "boy band" performing to the group's hit "It's Gonna Be Me."

Participants in the school's Dance for the Athlete class will present "Sing, Sing, Sing," a high-energy swing dance number.

Children from Marley Middle School's dance company and dance club will make a return appearance.

Other pieces will feature members of the high school's dance company, who have advanced skills and perform at state and county festivals; the touring company, students who perform in the community; and the dance club, whose members are working to improve their skills.

"It's a fast-paced, upbeat show," Rosso-Freeman said of the two-hour program. "There will be something for everyone. It's really like a mini-Broadway show. I really pull from my theater background when I put the show together."

It's difficult for the dance teacher to estimate how many students she has worked with over the years. But she beams with pride when talking about her former students, among them a member of an up-and-coming vocal-dance group, a dancer on Broadway, several high school dance teachers and regional dinner theater performers.

"There are a lot of success stories," she said.

"Dance has always been my passion and my love. I have high expectations of the students, and they always meet them. There is a wealth of talent in the Glen Burnie area. These students just need a way to express it."

Parent program

Glendale Elementary School will present the two-session program "1-2-3 Magic" on Tuesday and Jan. 23.

The free program focuses on techniques for disciplining children ages 2 to 12 without yelling, arguing or spanking.

The sessions will be presented by Kay Panagopoulos, guidance counselor at Point Pleasant Elementary.

Glendale Elementary is at 105 Carroll Road. Information: 410-222-6404.

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