Dance teacher and choreographer Vicki Smith has a mission to get everybody in Anne Arundel County from age 3 to 93 who might want to dance to start now. This petite dynamo has found a slot in her packed schedule where she can concentrate her efforts on recruiting dancers older than age 55.
Smith has intensified her teaching efforts since the death in 2001 of her sister Bobbi Smith, Talent Machine Company's founder and a gifted choreographer, whose skills at educating children 3 years old through teen-agers in performance arts set high standards.
"Although I've trained with the best, the master of them all is my sister Bobbi, who taught me everything I know," Smith said.
After a successful performing career that took her to New York and Las Vegas, Smith has devoted her talents in recent years to choreographing, directing and producing for, among others, Cunard Cruise Ships, Six Flags and Three Little Bakers Dinner Theater.
On a local level, Smith is working with Anne Arundel Community College's program at South County Senior Center and with Encore Productions, a new senior performance group.
Smith also manages and directs StageWorkz Theater Arts Project, which she started with her sister to teach voice drama and dance at its Millersville studio. She is also choreographer and co-director for Crofton Middle School productions and for Ridgeway Elementary School.
Her heavy schedule of teaching, choreographing and directing students from elementary school to college level does not prevent Smith from helping local performing groups.
Smith has choreographed a number of 2nd Star productions, including Guys and Dolls, last season's Music Man and Me and My Girl, and the current production, Annie, which will close Saturday.
For 2nd Star's 2003-2004 season, Smith will choreograph Once Upon a Mattress, Mame and Anything Goes.
Devoted to Talent Machine, Smith choreographs specialty numbers for the company founded by her sister and directed by Bobbi Smith's daughter Lea Capps, who assumed major responsibility for keeping Talent Machine purring.
For another Anne Arundel County-based performance group, Merely Players, Smith choreographed last fall's highly successful Oklahoma.
Despite such a full teaching and choreographing schedule, Smith is promoting her newest endeavor, Encore Productions, which was started for people older than age 55 who want to perform. Smith invites all potential performers - "experienced or not, beginner, professional or merely curious" - to register for classes.
Foremost, Smith promises lots of fun in the 10-week course as students learn about musical direction, staging and choreography. Two groups will rehearse separately, in Glen Burnie and Edgewater.
Groups will join for a final rehearsal week at Anne Arundel Community College's Pascal Center for the Performing Arts, where, Smith says, the first show will be a one-hour revue called A Tribute to Broadway. It will be fully staged and costumed, and will have theatrical lighting.
Smith invites students who are members of Pascal or South County senior centers to register to participate. Call Pascal at 410-222-6280 or South County at 410-222-1927 for details and to volunteer to assist with pre-production tasks.