Dance students from eight schools attend Ailey II performance

Students and staff from Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts, standing outside of Stephens Hall

As thrilling as it was for Baltimore County Public Schools dance students to see a 2008 graduate of the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology perform as part of the renowned Ailey II dance company, it was perhaps equally exciting to see some of their fellow students take the stage.

On Friday, September 16, Stephens Hall at Towson University was filled with 340 Baltimore County Public Schools students and 340 students from Baltimore City Schools attending a special matinee of the Ailey II Dance Company, hosted by Towson University Dance Department. Under the artistic direction of Sylvia Waters, the 12-member Ailey II has flourished into one of the most popular dance companies in the country, combining a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs.

One of the Ailey II dance company members, Elizabeth Washington, is a 2008 graduate of George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology.

The BCPS students in the audience represented eight of the county schools that offer fine arts dance programs: Dulaney High School, George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology, Lansdowne High School, New Town High School, Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts, Southwest Academy, Sudbrook Magnet Middle School, and Windsor Mill Middle School.

After watching the company perform “Echoes”  (choreographed by Thang Dao), a dozen students were selected to come onstage and try their hand at quickly learning and performing a section of “Revelations” (choreographed by Alvin Ailey) and to show off their personal style by performing freestyle.  The audience exploded with applause and cheers.

Towson University has graciously offered county and city students free seating for the matinee performance. The day before, on Thursday, September 15, Washington visited Carver Center and held a master class for some of the dance students there.

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