New Windsor Middle swings into action


March 21, 2002|By Jean Marie Beall | Jean Marie Beall,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

NEW WINDSOR MIDDLE School pupils are getting into the swing of things these days. Literally.

As part of their instruction, pupils are studying swing dance and related topics.

"If they go to music, they learn about music from the 1930s and 1940s," said Barbara Bates, a physical education teacher.

Pupils enrolled in Family and Consumer Sciences (formerly home economics) are studying advertising from that period. In art, pupils are designing a television cover depicting swing music, she said.

Swing dance originated at the Savoy Ballroom in New York's Harlem in the 1920s, according to John McCalla, a private dance instructor who has donated his time to demonstrate swing dance. McCalla's partner is Heather Goyle.

The lesson culminates in a big swing dance from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. tomorrow. Interim Superintendent Charles I. Ecker is expected to attend and to show his swing dancing form.

Interest in the dance was resurrected in the late 1990s with a Gap advertisement.

"They made it cool again," Bates said.

Pupils think swing dance is pretty neat.

"It is a cool unit because it is different," said eighth-grader Andrea Carney.

She wasn't alone.

"Yesterday, I couldn't stop singing, `It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing,'" said Audrey Hollenberg, an eighth-grader. "The dance part was easy for me because my brother already taught me how to do the dance steps."

Others liked studying the dance because of its historical significance.

"I think it's good because it promotes the culture of the past," said Ryan Collier, also an eighth-grader. "We researched the history on the Web page the teachers prepared for us."

The Web page has interacting sites to help pupils with research.

"They can listen to music or watch vintage films of original swing dancers," Bates added.

Spring fling

Elmer Wolfe Elementary School will hold its annual spring fling from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Among the many activities will be face painting, crafts, hair painting, book swap, food and bake table, flower sale and a spring fling auction.

Carroll County librarians and their mascot will tell stories. The Maryland State Police will visit.

New this year will be a Safety Room in which Carroll County Health Department representatives will talk about child safety seats, poison control and immunizations.

Carroll County General Hospital will provide free health services, such as blood pressure checks.

The school is at 119 N. Main St., Union Bridge.

Information: 410-857-0202.

Antiques appraisal

The Taneytown library branch will hold Antiques Appraisal Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 6.

Several antiques dealers from the Antiques Dealers Association of Maryland (ADAM) will offer verbal appraisals and other information.

A fee of $5 an appraisal will be charged with a limit of two items per person. Proceeds will be donated to ADAM and to the Carroll County Public Library Endowment Fund.

Reserve space now

Taneytown is taking reservations for its home and garden show, Swing into Spring.

The cost is $15 per space. The show will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27 at Memorial Park, according to event coordinator Pam Harlow.

Information: 410-751-1100.

Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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