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Ballroom Dancing

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By Karen Nitkin and Karen Nitkin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 1, 2002
WHEN FRED Talentino was in the eighth grade, his mother signed him up for dance lessons. At first, he hated it. But as he learned the steps, his confidence grew, and he started to look forward to the classes - not that he would acknowledge it, of course. These days, Talentino tells that story to the eighth-graders at Patapsco Middle School at the start of the ballroom dancing unit he teaches. Talentino, a physical education teacher at the school in Ellicott City, started the program about 12 years ago because he wanted pupils to have a good time at the school dance held every spring.
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NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | February 5, 2012
The idea of dancing with a boy sent several fifth-grade girls at Gunpowder Elementary into a tailspin. Jen Holland even gathered 25 signatures on a petition to curtail the lessons, but ultimately she left the paper at home. Four days into the week of lessons, the petitioners were swinging, swaying and mastering all manner of intricate steps with boys in the lead. "It was a lot better than I thought," Jen said. About 90 fifth graders donned their best dancing duds for a recital Friday, capping off a week of lessons in cha-cha, merengue, tango and swing at the Perry Hall school.
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NEWS
By Bonita Formwait | January 23, 1991
Having reached my peak dating years during the '70s, I am embarrassed to admit that not only do I remember disco, I still own several albums by such artists as the Bee Gees and Men at Work. Remember the revolving silver ball on the ceiling? The lighted dance floor? Men in white suits and gold chains trying a little too hard to look like JohnTravolta while the ladies twirled about in Quiana skirts?Try hard to forget.Frankly, these dancing skills are not adaptable to any music played at Cousin Leo's wedding or the winter dance sponsored by your bowling league.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | July 17, 2010
The Talent Machine Company presents two musicals during the summer, one featuring a teen cast and another with a younger cast. The current show features cast members 14 and younger in the fairytale musical favorite " Cinderella," which continues at St. John's College's Key Auditorium through Sunday, July 18. Still purring along in its 23rd season and nearly 10 years after the death of founder Bobbi Smith, the Talent Machine continues to reflect her...
NEWS
By Amy L. Miller and Amy L. Miller,Staff writer | February 12, 1992
Quietly conferring with the couple on the floor, the world champion ballroom dancer patiently showed them positions that appeal to judgesduring a competition."
NEWS
By Consella A. Lee and Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF | May 22, 1996
They slipped and slid, and they did the cha-cha, mambo, merengue and waltz across the stage in the auditorium at the Pascal Senior Center, all under the tutelage of Spero Pappafotis.The retired Social Security manager has been teaching ballroom dancing at the center for 16 years, ever since he and his wife, Ilene, took lessons and he jotted down the steps of each dance on a piece of paper.Now, his classes meet at the center for two hours once a week over 10 weeks. During this session, he has a class of six women and three men -- which means that two women at a time have to sit out, even if he dances with one woman as he teaches.
NEWS
By Stephanie Shapiro and Stephanie Shapiro,SUN STAFF | January 28, 2005
When it comes to personifying the health benefits of dancing, Frankie Manning is Exhibit A. One of the Lindy Hop's greatest innovators, Manning, 90, teaches the acrobatic dance at workshops around the world, including one last weekend in Catonsville. "Dancing is a very good exercise and it's a wonderful exercise because it's a partner dance," says Manning, who invented the Lindy's hallmark "airstep," a move that sends a woman rolling over her partner's back and safely back to earth. "You're not alone taking these exercises," Manning says by phone from his New York home.
FEATURES
By Susan Reimer and Susan Reimer,SUN STAFF | March 17, 1996
Somewhere in time - between ankle socks and pantyhose, in those minutes between a clip-on tie and a four-in-hand knot ladies and gentlemen are waiting.Parents can not see them because they are lost among the sprouting limbs of adolescence or hiding behind the self-conscious masks of childhood. But Betty Huckenpoehler will bring them out.Mrs. Huckenpoehler is headmistress of the Annapolis Cotillion. With the help of her long-time friend and partner, Mary Louise Waters-Brice, she guides middle-schoolers across the swaying rope bridge that leads from childhood into polite society.
NEWS
March 5, 1991
Arthur Murray said he made a business out of ballroom dancing, but his real business was making people feel better about themselves. His success at it made him a very rich man at his death at age 95 last weekend in Honolulu.If the smiles and charm of Arthur Murray dance instructors were not always genuine -- in 1946, disgruntled instructors went on strike wearing prison uniforms -- neither did the thousands of students who flocked to Murray's studios necessarily expect them to be. Murray understood that the mystique of gliding around a dance floor was the allure of a world apart, a place where smiles and charm for their own sake are as essential as rhythm.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | March 4, 1991
Arthur Murray, the immigrant baker's son who danced his way to fame and fortune as the world's best-known teacher of ballroom dancing, died yesterday at his home in Honolulu. He was 95.Mr. Murray's daughter, Phyllis Murray McDowell, said her father died of pneumonia. He had been active and in good health until very recently, she said.Mr. Murray liked to tell stories of how learning to dance well had helped other people achieve poise, success and happiness, but his own life was his best success story -- and a testimony to his skill as a promoter and an executive as well as asa rumba dancer, fox-trotter, waltzer and bunny-hugger.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen | November 16, 2009
Charles A. Ray Jr., a retired produce manager and Navy veteran, died Sunday from complications following open heart surgery at Union Memorial Hospital. The Hamilton resident was 70. Mr. Ray was born in Baltimore and raised in the 10th Ward, the lower Greenmount Avenue neighborhood. He was a 1957 graduate of Calvert Hall College High School. He served in the Navy as a radioman aboard the destroyer USS Borie from 1957 until being discharged in 1961. Mr. Ray worked as a produce manager for several Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. supermarkets before going to work in 1980 for Eddie's on St. Paul Street in Charles Village.
ENTERTAINMENT
By sloane brown and sloane brown,sloane@sloanebrown.com | April 12, 2009
A little rain wasn't going to put a damper on the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum's annual Opening Day Block Party. A couple hundred folks showed up outside the museum on Emory Street to enjoy live music, scarf down burgers and pit beef and down a few beers. For many, the party was as much a tradition as attending the Orioles' hometown opener itself. "Opening Day is the best day of the year, and I always start at the Babe Ruth Museum," said Bob Hillman, a museum advisory board member. "It's a celebration of baseball and spring, and a lot of people are showing up. So, it's a great day," said Mike Gibbons, the museum's executive director, as he took a break from serving burgers to the crowd.
NEWS
By JEAN MARABELLA | April 8, 2008
The elevator door opens to the fifth floor, and the gray skies that have shrouded the city all day are cast aside like a wet wool coat. Inside, the music throbs and the lights shine blindingly white, the better to illuminate the wildly plumaged creatures tangoing and foxtrotting about in a blur of satin, sweat and Swarovski crystals. "It's a zoo," Peter Pover says. If it is, Pover is the head zookeeper, the ringmaster. As president of USA Dance, he brought this year's National DanceSport Championships to Baltimore this weekend, part of a path that he hopes will someday lead to the Olympics.
NEWS
By JEAN MARBELLA | June 1, 2007
The girl stormed off the dance floor, her body language the universal for "I'm outta here." Her partner was left standing alone, his shoulders shrugging in the universal for "What did I do?" Ah, the drama, the intrigue, the stomped toes. It's one of those ideas that seem like either pure genius or total insanity, and turn out to be a good bit of both: Take the mannered world of ballroom dancing, plant it in the hormonally fraught setting of the typical middle school. Moviegoers first saw the results of this odd coupling several years ago, in the hit documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, which followed several New York City schools as they fielded ballroom dancing teams to compete for the top prize.
NEWS
By Cassandra A. Fortin and Cassandra A. Fortin,special to the sun | March 18, 2007
The teenagers drank punch and munched on snacks until, summoned by the instructor, they sheepishly made their way onto the makeshift dance floor. They formed a circle in the cafeteria at Bel Air High School. Matthew Lipka,18, adjusted his tie as he found an open spot. "I have no idea what to expect," the senior said. But before long, the sound of "Mambo No. 5" pulsated through the cafeteria and the room became a blur of twirling skirts and swaying hips. The teenagers, normally used to hip-hop dancing, or not dancing at all, were swept up in swing fever.
NEWS
By Tyrone Richardson and Tyrone Richardson,Sun reporter | November 21, 2006
Ronnie Hall, a former volunteer firefighter, lost his leg several years ago when his firetruck flipped over and landed on him. But the 36-year-old College Park man hasn't let his disability deter him from taking part in sports such as softball, basketball and touch football. So he was enthusiastic about yesterday's Extreme & Adaptive Sports Expo, held in Howard County. "This breaks down the stereotypes about disabled and helps people to see and understand that we can do the same thing - perhaps even better than them," said Hall, who was among hundreds of spectators at yesterday's event at Glenwood Community Center.
NEWS
By Cassandra A. Fortin and Cassandra A. Fortin,special to the sun | March 18, 2007
The teenagers drank punch and munched on snacks until, summoned by the instructor, they sheepishly made their way onto the makeshift dance floor. They formed a circle in the cafeteria at Bel Air High School. Matthew Lipka,18, adjusted his tie as he found an open spot. "I have no idea what to expect," the senior said. But before long, the sound of "Mambo No. 5" pulsated through the cafeteria and the room became a blur of twirling skirts and swaying hips. The teenagers, normally used to hip-hop dancing, or not dancing at all, were swept up in swing fever.
NEWS
By Gilbert Sandler | January 19, 1993
THE dancers crowd the floor, lost in the enveloping music. mirrored ball, revolving slowly high above, sends flashes of light coruscating across the floor like a waterfall running sideways . . .It was the dream of Louis Shecter that if he built it, they would come -- a "Roseland" ballroom in Baltimore, a place where guys and girls who grew up in Baltimore in the 1940s would come to dance cheek-to-cheek. He dreamed that these couples holding tight and dancing to slow music would make the place a Baltimore institution, celebrating in three-quarters time the joys of ballroom dancing.
NEWS
November 4, 2006
Jane S. Salter, a homemaker who enjoyed ballroom dancing, died of cancer Oct. 28 at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Stoneleigh resident was 78. Born in Manchester, Tenn., she earned a teaching certificate from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She taught in elementary schools in Mississippi and Tennessee before moving to Washington and becoming an FBI secretary. In Washington, she met Justin Salter. They married in 1953 and moved to Baltimore, where she taught briefly in the city school system.
NEWS
By Gina Davis and Gina Davis,SUN REPORTER | October 30, 2006
Chris Mayne is almost as surprised as his partner, Sarah Jones, at how smoothly they're moving with this ballroom dancing thing. Mayne, 17, is the giddy one as he extends his arm while Jones, 15, firmly grasps his hand and as gracefully as possible spins away from him. "We're good," Mayne, a senior, announced over the music, chatter and laughter filling the cafeteria at Winters Mill High in Westminster. "I'm so proud of myself," Jones, a junior, said as Mayne reeled her back in. It appears the two were born for swing dancing.
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