Dancers of a certain age sometimes lose their tiaras

For nearly a decade, neither snow nor sleet — not to mention having to get out of bed early on a Saturday morning — could keep us from our appointment with modern dance classes at the Howard County Center for the Arts.

With an average age teetering on the edge of 55, the core group of 10 to 12 regulars referred to ourselves as the “goddesses,” and we ruled — at least among other similarly seasoned generations of terpsichores.

From time to time, one of the younger ballerinas from Kathi Ferguson’s 9 a.m. dance class would check in. Few stayed for the entire session, but those who did were treated to a string of master teachers from area colleges offering a variety of modern techniques.

Goucher College professor Juliet Forrest was one of our revered teachers. Juliet specializes in lifts and swings and is a strong believer in the value of rolling around on the floor.

Another of our special guest teachers was Maryland therapist Carol Orth, who incorporates dynamic choreography for all types of bodies. Then there was Towson University’s Jaye Knutson, a knockout dancer who worked our brains as much as our bodies.

We also benefited from modern dance maven Barbara Supolvitz, who always ended her classes with a session of Israeli folk dancing; and from African-influenced Kim Vetter, an energetic younger teacher specializing in conga dancing and drumming.

Over the past few months, things have been slowing down, though. Kathi Ferguson, director of the Howard County Ballet, continues to support our program, in spite of  setbacks and falling enrollment.
We’re always looking for interested new teachers and younger dancers to keep the goddess spirit alive! For information on dance classes, call the Howard County Ballet at 410-465-9414, or e-mail

Master dance class at Peabody

Word of a “Day of Master Classes” at Peabody’s studios in Downtown Baltimore this Sunday, Oct. 30, spread fast across the dance grapevine. Of course, this program, directed by Carol Bartlett under the guidance of Barbara Weisberger, is opened to all dancers, including those much younger than my gang.

The tuition is reasonable, too, starting at $30 for the intermediate and advanced level classes, and only $15 for seminar participants. Here’s a short lift of teachers who will be taking part:

• Marcia Dale Weary, revered teacher and artistic director of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet;

• Laszlo Berdo, former Boston Ballet principal dancer, now working locally;

• Ballet luminary Rhodie Jorgenson; and

• Other distinguished faculty.

There are group discounts available for five or more students from a school. For details call 410-234-4626 or go to

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