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Date: Jan 2018

By Fronda Cohen, Director, Baltimore County Arts & Sciences Commission

Dancing with a Beast. Dancing in a multimedia forest. Dancing with a performer who uses a wheelchair.

It’s all at Take a Leap, a month-long Baltimore County Dance Celebration, taking to the stage now through March 3. The celebration, in its fifth year, features national and regional performers, student works, and free dance classes from hip hop to tap.

AXIS Dance, an ensemble of disabled and non-disabled performers, headlines a calendar of performances at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts in Owings Mills. Baltimore Dance Project will feature the rarely seen contemporary ballet, "Unravel" by the late Eric Hampton, Doug Hamby’s “Square Breath” and Carol Hess' multimedia work “LightForest,” performed at UMBC’s Performing Arts and Humanities building.  Families will enjoy “Beauty and the Beast” by the Ballet Theatre of Maryland. (Hurry, these two performances are almost sold out!)

“The arts are a vital part of what makes living here great. We’re pleased to bring dance into our communities through this month-long dance celebration,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Featured Take a Leap Performances

Student Choreography Showcase from Baltimore County Public Schools

Be the first to see the work of aspiring young choreographers in performances adjudicated by ClancyWorks Dance Company.

February 1, 2018, 7:00 p.m. Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts  $5/general admission; $3/students and seniors at the door

Baltimore Dance Project

The program will feature Doug Hamby's riveting work "Square Breath” and the rarely seen contemporary ballet "Unravel" by the late Eric Hampton. Also on the program is Carol Hess' multimedia work “LightForest” and new works by Hamby and Hess.

February 8, 9, 10, 2018, 8:00 p.m.  UMBC  Performing Arts and Humanities Building Tickets available at the box office one hour prior to showtime

Dance Free

Your chance to try ballet, tap, hip hop and more. Professional dancers from The Collective are waiting to meet your dancing feet, no matter your age or dance skills.

February 11, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.  Gordon Center for Performing Arts

Just drop in, it's free!

Baltimore Dance Invitational

The Baltimore Dance Invitational (BDI) draws the area’s top talent together for an eclectic evening of original dance. Co-presented by The Collective.

February 15, 2018, 7:30 p.m.  Gordon Center for Performing Arts

Ballet Theatre of Maryland: Beauty and the Beast

The beloved fairytale comes to life in this magical full-length production featuring Maryland’s premier professional ballet company.

February 11, 2018, 1:00 and 5:00 p.m.  Gordon Center for Performing Arts 

Meet the Artist with Claudia MacPherson

Meet Claudia MacPherson, a founding member of Jessica Lang Dance, to talk about the Lang-choreographed ballet being staged at Goucher College.

February 23, 2018, 6:00 p.m. Goucher College, Todd Dance Studio. Call Goucher Dance for details 410-337-6390

AXIS Dance Company

One of the nation’s most acclaimed ensembles of disabled and non-disabled performers presents works of art that can change the way audiences think about dance. This special performance celebrates the Maryland State Arts Council’s 50th year.

February 24, 2018, 8:00 p.m.  Gordon Center for Performing Arts

Towson University Dance Majors Showcase

Works from up and coming dancers at Towson University Dance.

February 23, 7:00 p.m., February 24, 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. Towson University, Dance Studio Theater

Full Take a Leap Dance Calendar 

The full Take a Leap calendar and ticket information are available at

In addition to the featured performances, AXIS Dance will stage a special performance for Baltimore County Public School students and conduct youth master classes. During the celebration, fifth graders will showcase their ballroom dance skills at elementary schools throughout Baltimore County.

Warm up, take a leap, and dance this February!

The Take a Leap Baltimore County Dance Celebration is presented by the Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences in partnership with the Gordon Center for Performing Arts and the Baltimore region’s dance community.  

By Verletta White, Interim Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools

Last year, Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) used Stakeholder Survey results to shape our budget, staffing, and programs. This year, we’d love to hear from even more students in Grades 3-12, parents/caregivers, community members, and staff.

Available online through March 2, the survey is anonymous and takes five minutes or less on a phone, tablet, or computer. The survey is available for students, parents, and community members in 16 languages: Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, English, French, Gujarati, Korean, Nepali, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, and Yoruba.

In addition to your role as a community member, if you are a parent or staff member, you are encouraged to take the survey more than once to reflect those different roles.

I look forward to hearing from our whole community. Please take the survey by March 2, and encourage others to shape our future!

Jake Oliver, Dr. Tim Tooten and Verletta White to be Honored at February 5th Ceremony

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz will recognize the 2018 recipients of the Louis S. Diggs Award, in a ceremony held during Black History Month to celebrate Baltimore County’s African-American heritage. This year’s honorees are Jake Oliver, publisher of AFRO-American Newspaper; Dr. Tim Tooten, WBAL-TV reporter and pastor of Harvest Christian Ministries; and Interim Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Verletta White.

 “I am proud to recognize these outstanding individuals whose life work represents a commitment to the celebration of the African-American experience in Baltimore County, and whose accomplishments inspire others to strive for success,” Kamenetz said.

Kamenetz created this annual award in 2016 to recognize individuals who demonstrate a commitment to promoting African-American history and culture in Baltimore County. The award was named in honor of local African-American historian and lecturer, Louis S. Diggs, who has researched and published numerous local history books and is President of the Diggs-Johnson Museum in Granite. 

The awards ceremony will take place on Monday, February 5 at 11 a.m. at the Owings Mills Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library, located at 10302 Grand Central Avenue, in the 3rd floor Meeting Rooms A, B and C. About 100 community members are expected to attend and the public is welcome. In case of inclement weather, the event will be postponed until Monday, February 12 at the same time and location.

Revised September 11, 2017