Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - Pho­tos and text by Al­ge­rina Perna

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 to the beat of hip-hop with swift and sure ges­tures.

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, tap and jazz for ages 3 to 22. 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.”

Prac­tic­ing tap dance moves are stu­dents Arielle Jones, 5, right; Madi­son Morgan, 5; Lon­don West­lyn, 7; Chloe Lee, 7; Kyla Jones, 5 and Nola Re­gan, 6.

Fal­isha Massey demon­strates cre­ative move­ment ex­er­cises for stu­dents dur­ing a class at Rayn Fall Dance Stu­dio, lo­cated in the Eu­bie Blake Na­tional Jazz and Cul­tural Cen­ter in Bal­ti­more.

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