Dancer flying high over scholarship

A Severna Park High School senior will be spending four weeks at the Joffrey Ballet School next summer

Education Beat

December 11, 2005|By KAREN NITKIN | KAREN NITKIN,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Severna Park High School has let out for the day, and about 10 girls are in the school's dance studio, kicking and twirling in unison as "Santa Baby" booms through the small room. They are rehearsing for a school concert scheduled for Thursday.

Senior Lindsay Moore is among them. She has been dancing since she was in preschool, and she hopes to be a Rockette some day. Recently, her ambitions took a step forward (or should that be a jete?) when she won a four-week summer scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. Joffrey is considered one of the best ballet schools in the world.

Moore and other dancers throughout the state performed before a panel of judges last month at a dance festival at Broadneck High School. Moore said that dancers don't apply for specific scholarships; instead, the scholarships are awarded based on the abilities of the dancer. Then it's up to the dancers to decide whether they will accept it.

"It was the top scholarship awarded at the dance festival," said Marlene Scott, director of the Severna Park High School Dance Company, who was directing the girls as they danced. "It didn't surprise me that she won it."

The scholarship will cover the program's tuition of about $900, Moore said, but it won't pay for housing. Her father, Kevin Moore, said the family is still trying to work out the logistics.

Other dancers who won awards at the festival were Broadneck High School sophomores Emily Sushko, who won a one-week scholarship to the White Marsh Ballet Academy; and Brittney Phebus, winner of a one-day hip-hop workshop at the Broadway Dance Center in New York.

Those winners, as well as Moore, dance at the Dance Academy of Severna Park. Moore has been dancing there since she was 4.

"I've always loved it," she said of dancing. "I don't know if I knew at 4 that I wanted to do it forever, but I've always loved it."

Barbara Haskell, director of the Dance Academy, said Moore stands out because she picks up steps easily and has an ear for music.

"She hears music very well," Haskell said. "She really is special, and she's been doing that since she was little."

Moore has gotten her whole family involved in dancing. Her father, an electrical engineer, now designs sets for the various productions, and her mother, Debbie, serves as stage manager.

"They've also drafted me as Herr Drosselmeyer in the past few years," said Kevin Moore, referring to the role of Clara's uncle in the Nutcracker Suite. Fortunately for him, he said, "it's not a dancing part. It's moving around the stage, keeping the bright colorful cape in motion."

Moore's older sister, Emily, a freshman at the University of Maryland, is on the dance team there, and eighth-grader Courtney dances as well.

"I'm glad that my parents and my sisters and I can all be involved in something," Lindsay Moore said.

Moore typically teaches and dances five days a week at the dance studio, Haskell said. Most nights, she's there from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. And twice a week, she dances for an hour and a half after school with the high school dance company.

Over the years, Moore has also logged many hours in front of audiences. Recently, through the Dance Academy, she was the Sugar Plum Fairy in a performance of the Nutcracker at the Chesapeake Arts Center. Soon, rehearsals will start for Cinderella. And a few years ago, she did a summer program with the Rockettes.

"I loved it," she said.

Moore wants to be a Rockette some day, and her family wants that for her.

"We think she would enjoy that," her father said.

But she also wants a good education. She's considering schools that will allow her to major in both dance and early childhood education, including Point Park University in Pittsburgh and the University of Maryland, College Park.

"I'm really excited and thrilled," Moore said of the scholarship. "I'm sure it will be hard work. Joffrey is just another level."

ksnitkin@comcast.net

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