May 26--Life has kept long-time Arnold resident Barbara Easter Winner on her toes.
Over three decades ago, the Baltimore native was a widow and mother of four children. A handsome man, J. Frank Winner III, swept her off her feet. They married in 1983 and had two more children, bringing the total to three boys and three girls.
Winner has been dancing since she was 7. Shortly after her birth in Baltimore, her family moved to Indiana, where her father performed with the Indianapolis Symphony. There, she took her first trembling step onto a stage.
Little did she know her love for dance, especially ballet, would become a family trait. Her children and grandchildren share her affection for the art. All of her children took dance classes and so have several of her grandchildren.
On a recent morning, still in his printed pajamas, Travis Winner, a 4-year-old towhead and son of her fifth child, John Travis Winner, was cartwheeling around the dance floor in Winner's studio.
Since 1977, Winner has taught ballet and creative movement in this area. For 13 years, she had a series of ballet studios at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. The past 19 years, Winner's ballet studio, L'Ecole de Danse, has been located in the rear of the Gardiner Center, on Forest Drive.
L'Ecole de Danse offers 16 weekly classes on weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Many courses are geared toward children and teens, but adults often sign up and dance alongside the kids.
"We have probably the most noncompetitive dance classes in the area," said Winner. "Dance is more than just performing or winning an award. I want people to dance regardless of their body type or age. Dancing is good for the mind, body and spirit."
The school is holding its annual dance recital 7:30 p.m., Saturday; and 2 p.m., Sunday, at the Robert E. Kaufman Theater in the Pascal Center for the Performing Arts, at Anne Arundel Community College'sArnold Campus.
The evening's 75 dancers range in age from 4-year-old creative movement students to pre-teens and teens in intermediate and advanced ballet, and lyrical and modern dance courses. Tickets, sold at the door, are $12. Seats can be reserved by calling the box office at 410-777-2457.
The main dance performed by the students is "Cinderella." Sandwiching "Cinderella" are the dances "Counterpoint" and the finale, the sizzling Ravel's "Bolero," choreographed by Carol Wheeler, one of Winner's daughters. Winner's youngest child, Kristine Winner, is the the choreographer of the other two pieces.
Middle daughter Laura Hollon handles the marketing and communications for L'Ecole de Danse.
Kristine Winner, also busy planning her October wedding, has a Master of the Arts from Drexel University in dance/movement therapy. She has performed with dance companies in Miami, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Since 2011, she has worked with children and senior citizens in Pikesville, Severna Park and Silver Spring.
Working side-by-side with her effervescent grandmother and her aunt, was Broadneck High School senior Kayla Hollon, 17, daughter of Laura Hollon.
The three practiced intricate steps in front of a mirror. As their lithe bodies intertwined, stretched and leapt, they resembled the famous Three Graces, the Greek goddesses of charm, beauty and creativity.
With Barbara Winner's easy laugh and fit, youthful figure, it was hard to tell who was the grandma and who was the daughter or granddaughter.
Fins for a Cure
Bay Hills Swim Club is hosting the Third Annual Fins for a Cure from 8:30 to 11 a.m.June 29.
The splashy event is part of a nationwide fundraising effort organized by the nonprofit, Swim Across America.
Swimmers throughout the area, of all ages and abilities, are invited to raise funds for cancer research, prevention and treatment. All of the event's proceeds benefit the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. Swimmers can opt to paddle 1/2 mile, one mile or to swim in a relay in teams formed at the event.
Fins for a Cure at Bay Hills Swim Club raised $7,419 in 2012 and $8,432 in 2013. One organizer, Cheryl R. Hickox, has set a goal of $10,000 for this swim-fest.
For more information, or to register, visit www.swimacrossamerica.org/fins.
Music can soothe the troubled soul. With that in mind, St. Margaret's Episcopal Church is hosting a benefit concert, dessert reception and art auction, at 7 p.m.June 4 at the church, 1601 Pleasant Plains Road on the Broadneck Peninsula.
Directed by the church's music director James R. Fitzpatrick, the concert features Metropolitan Opera performer Maria Dolan; soprano Tamara Fingel; baritones Adrian Lewis, Bobb Robinson and Robert Tudor; cabaret artists Beverly Cosham, Marcia Gilliam, Michael Miyazaki, John Schratwieser, Ron Squeri, Christy Eichel Trapp and Maris Wicker; concert pianists Jiayin Shen and Michael Lundien; cellists Deborah Brudvig and Martha Vance; and guitarist Jonathan Stone.
Proceeds benefit the recently inaugurated therapeutic music program at Anne Arundel Medical Center. Admission is $50 per person. For more information or to download a ticket order form, visit www.st-margarets.org.
Anne Arundel Community College's Youth Dance Festival for students in grades sixth through 12th will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.June 23 to July 3 on the Arnold campus.
Children can study ballet, modern dance, hip-hop, Middle Easter dance, Pilates and more in a supportive, noncompetitive learning environment. The course cost of $352 includes a $27 registration fee. For required camp forms, visit www.aacc.edu/kic.
For more information, call 410-777-2325.
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