Photos and text by Algerina Perna, The Baltimore Sun
In a high-ceilinged room with mirrors, tall windows and orange walls, children clad in yellow leotards and slippered feet scamper across the floor imitating the dance instructor’s moves like fledgling birds following in their mother’s tracks. In another room, teenagers move definitively to the beat of Hip Hop with swift and sure gestures of each body part articulated into an orchestra of movement.
Rayn Fall Dance Studio, located in the Eubie Blake National Jazz and Cultural Center, and founded by Sharayna A. Christmas Rose over 12 years ago, offers dance classes in African, ballet, creative movement, Hip Hop, modern, pre-dance, tap and jazz for ages 3 up to 22 years old. Having begun her ballet training at the Dance Theatre of Harlem at the age of 3, and danced professionally as a teenager, Christmas Rose wanted to provide dance opportunities to others. “I saw a need in Baltimore City to really provide young people with an opportunity to train at a high level,” she says. Christmas Rose believes the discipline of ballet and African dance can help shape one’s future. “It kind of takes you through the different steps that you need through your body and mind to apply that to the real world.”
Rayn Fall Studio has both a Community Dance Program and a Professional Training Program. Christmas Rose says, “I find that it’s extremely important for young people particularly in a city like Baltimore to have an opportunity to see themselves in a beautiful way.”