Community college set to launch arts program

August 01, 2004|By Artika Rangan | Artika Rangan,SUN STAFF

Malinda Zebley has spent the past 12 years of her life dancing. Next month, she will take her hobby further by taking part in Cecil Community College's new performing arts program with a concentration in dance.

"This is what I've always loved to do," said Zebley, 18, of Earleville. "I figure, why not go to school for it?"

Zebley is one of the first students to enroll in the program, which will be offered for the first time in the fall.

Performing arts students will take general course requirements in the fall at the North East campus. The college's Elkton location will open in January, and that facility will house dance studios, art studios and art galleries.

Students enrolling in the performing arts program are required to choose a concentration - dance, music/guitar or theater.

About 30 credits in the two-year program must be geared toward a concentration. Each student must also take 32 credits of general education classes set by the college before receiving an associate's degree.

Instructors J. Andrew Dickenson and Dan Long will oversee the music/guitar program and theater program, respectively.

Janaea Rose Lyn, arts coordinator and dance instructor for the college, developed the performing arts program and will oversee the dance concentration. Students in the dance concentration will study ballet and modern dance.

In addition to taking ensemble classes that teach performance techniques, dance students will be required to take a performance skills course, which was designed for the new program.

Lyn said the performance skills class will teach dancers about the production and promotional aspects of the profession.

"People don't necessarily go to school knowing what they want to do," she said. "But the program's vision is to give students enough of a foundation to enter the workforce or continue their education."

Because of an agreement between Cecil Community College and Towson University, CCC students admitted to Towson's program can transfer all of their credits to the four-year institution. Christopher H. "Kit" Spicer, dean of Towson's College of Fine Arts and Communication, called the agreement a "checklist" for students.

"Without the agreement, it's difficult for students to know what classes to take," Spicer said. "The agreement spells out the requirements. When they apply here, they can come in at a level comparable to someone who has been here since they were a freshman."

He said dance majors at CCC can audition and apply for a bachelor of fine arts program at Towson. Theater and music majors can apply to the university for a bachelor of arts program.

Towson University and Cecil Community College began working on the agreement late last year. This is the first time the two schools have worked together in such a program.

"We just want students to have as many options as possible," Lyn said.

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