ATHOLTON HIGH School sophomore Micayla Diener, 15, dreams of dancing on Broadway. Harper's Choice resident Kathy Taub, 47, thought learning to tap dance was "now or never."
Both are students in the teen and adult tap-dancing class at Stonehouse in Long Reach Village Center. The class is part of Ballet with Cindee Velle, a dancing school that makes its home at Stonehouse. Classes are offered in ballet, tap and jazz dance for children and adults.
On a recent Wednesday, about eight students worked up a sweat dancing in Shelly Maykuth's energetic tap class.
"We have all levels of dancers in the class," Maykuth said. "Some haven't taken tap dancing as a child, others have taken ballet, others are just doing it for fun. It's a great aerobic workout for the whole body, and it really works the leg muscles."
"What's fun about tap dancing is you get to make noise," said Maykuth, who has been dancing since she was 18 months old. "It's the loudest form of dance; it really gets people's attention."
Maykuth said she has been teaching dance since she was 14. She has danced competitively and performed in the Kitchen Sink Dance Company of West Virginia, as well as other troupes.
"When you teach dance, you really can make a difference in people's lives," Maykuth said. "No matter how young or old you are, dancing gives you a form of confidence. When you walk into a dance class, you forget everything else that could be going wrong outside of that room and you just concentrate on conquering that step."
Her students, who range in age from teens to their 40s, were clearly concentrating as they tried to follow complicated steps that nearly took them off their feet. "Falling off the log," a series of steps done on the toes, took them sideways and really made them look as if they were falling off a log. More simple steps such as the "cramp roll," when done quickly, made crunching sounds.
"Miss Shelly's steps are fun to do," said Laura Petro, 14, a freshman at Oakland Mills High School. "I do them around the house all the time." Laura has performed in school plays and dreams of dancing on Broadway.
"Everyone here is nice and helpful," said Micayla, who has taken classes at more formal studios. "This school is less intimidating, and you get what you want done."
Some of the adult students perform in the school recital held at Howard Community College each year. "We go light on the sequins for the adult costumes," Maykuth joked.
Classes run in 12-week sessions. The cost of the classes ranges from $120 to $570. A one-time class is $12.
Information: Stonehouse, 410-730-8113.
Congratulations to four Atholton Elementary School children who were chosen to be members of the Howard County Children's Chorus. Chosen were fourth-graders Alexis Anthony, Da'Nette Bruton and Karen Wood and fifth-grader Arnesha Gross.
The youths will represent their school in the chorus, which is composed of outstanding singers from Howard County elementary schools.
`Art of the Torah'
Columbia Jewish Congregation and Columbia Art Center are sponsoring a juried exhibition, Art Of the Torah, from Thursday through Nov. 17 at the art center. The show is composed of variety of artworks related to the Torah.
An opening reception will be held from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Nov. 2.
Photographer Jerry Gettleman is a featured artist from our neighborhood. Other Columbia artists include Carol Bodin, H.W. Kurlander and Robert Tennabaum.
The Columbia Art Center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The center is at 6100 Foreland Garth. Admission is free.
Artist in residence
Storyteller and writing coach David Joe Miller was artist in residence for one week at Atholton Elementary School last month. Miller is a professional storyteller and freelance writer from Jonesboro, Tenn.
On the first day of his visit, he told stories to the entire school. During the rest of the week, he led writing workshops for the fourth- and fifth-graders.
On the last day of the program, the two top stories were chosen and read in an assembly. The top story writer for the fourth grade was Grace Bondurant; the top story for the fifth grade was by Aaron Reed. Both children received certificates.
Meet the author
You can meet local author Jean L. Silver-Isenstadt at 7 tonight at the east Columbia library. Her book, Shameless: The Visionary Life of Mary Gove Nichols, chronicles the life of one of the most infamous and influential women of the 19th century.
Nichols was a radical social reformer who preached equality in marriage, free love and the importance of happiness, according to a library news release.
Author Silver-Isenstadt lives in Columbia and will tell some of Nichols' story during the evening. Books will be available for purchase and signing.